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Editor in Chief Mohamed Wadie

France Closes Embassy in Niger Amid Tensions


Wed 03 Jan 2024 | 03:15 PM
Israa Farhan

France's Foreign Ministry announced on Tuesday that the French Embassy in Niger, which Paris had previously stated would close ahead of Christmas, is now officially closed "until further notice," with its activities being conducted from Paris.

In a statement, the ministry noted that "the French Embassy in Niger is now closed until further notice. In reality, for the past five months, our embassy has faced serious obstacles that make it impossible to carry out its duties: a siege around the embassy premises, restrictions on the movement of its staff, and the prevention of entry for all diplomats who were supposed to arrive in Niger."

The decision to close the embassy, an exceedingly rare move, coincides with the withdrawal of the last French soldiers deployed in Niger as part of the fight against terrorism, who left the country on December 22.

Relations between Paris and Niamey have deteriorated since the military coup in July and the ousting of President Mohamed Bazoum.

Following the July 26 coup, the military who seized power quickly demanded the departure of French soldiers (approximately 1500 troops deployed to combat jihadists) and annulled several military agreements previously made with Paris.