In a significant development, Niger’s military leadership has lauded France’s decision to withdraw its troops from the West African nation by year’s end, viewing it as a move towards greater national sovereignty.
“This Sunday, we celebrate a new step towards the sovereignty of Niger,”
remarked the military officials, who assumed power in a coup that ousted President Mohamed Bazoum on July 26. The announcement was broadcasted on national television, emphasizing the departure of both the French military presence and the French ambassador by the close of 2023.
The military’s statement further highlighted the gravity of the moment, noting,
“This is a historic moment, which speaks to the determination and will of the Nigerien people.”
This development followed shortly after French President Emmanuel Macron’s declaration that France would be recalling its ambassador from Niger and subsequently pulling out its military forces in the ensuing months.
In a related move earlier on the same day, prior to Macron’s announcement, the African agency overseeing aviation safety, ASECNA, reported that Niger’s military administration had prohibited French aircraft from traversing the nation’s airspace.