Thousands in Niger rally against presence of French troops
Protesters gathered near a French military base after several civic organisations issued the call for the withdrawal of French troops from the country.
On Saturday, thousands of people rallied in the Niger capital Niamey to call for the withdrawal of French troops from the country, as requested by the junta that seized power in June.
Protesters gathered near a French military base after several civic organizations issued the call for the withdrawal of French troops from the country.
Demonstrators were seen holding banners reading "French army leave our country".
On Friday, Niger's military government launched a new verbal attack against France, accusing Paris of "flagrant interference" in the country's affairs by supporting the ousted president. The protest took place near a French military base outside Niamey.
Former head of state Mohamed Bazoum, a French-backed supporter whose victory last year had raised expectations of peace in the unstable country, was arrested on last month the 20th by members of his guard.
Relations between Niger and France, its former colonial ruler, deteriorated sharply after Paris supported ousted president Bazoum.
On August 3, the military government of Niger announced that it was scrapping all military agreements with France, which has 1,500 troops stationed in the country.
France has rejected the move, saying that only the legitimate government of Niger can make such a decision.
The military leaders said that the agreements had different expiration dates, but one of them, which was signed in 2012, was due to expire within a month.
The military government has also ordered the immediate expulsion of the French ambassador, Sylvain Itte, and revoked his diplomatic immunity, saying that his presence is a threat to Niger's public order.
Despite being given a 48-hour deadline to leave Niger last Friday, French President Emmanuel Macron on Monday praised Sylvain Itte's work in the country and said that he was still in Niger.