Niger coup: France defies ultimatum for ambassador to leave Niamey

France’s ambassador has remained in Niger regardless of being given a 48-hour deadline to go away the nation final Friday, French President Emmanuel Macron confirmed in a defiant speech.

Ambassador Sylvain Itte had been ordered to go amid quickly deteriorating bilateral ties.

However hours after the coup leaders’ deadline had handed, the president stated he “applauds” Mr Itte for staying put.

The junta overthrew Niger’s elected president final month.

In a significant international coverage speech to ambassadors gathered in Paris in addition to others listening remotely, Mr Macron stated: “France and its diplomats have confronted notably troublesome conditions in some nations in current months, from Sudan, the place France has been exemplary, to Niger at this very second.

“I applaud your colleague and your colleagues who’re listening from their posts.”

Niger’s President Mohamed Bazoum was toppled on 26 July in a coup that has been condemned by France and plenty of of Niger’s neighbours, together with the West African regional bloc Ecowas.

Ambassador Itte had refused to satisfy Niger’s new leaders after the coup, the junta stated on Friday, because it introduced the French ambassador had 48 hours to go away.

Hundreds of Nigeriens in favour of the coup demonstrated on Sunday close to the French army base within the capital, Niamey.

Some held indicators demanding the departure of French troops, whereas footage posted on social media seems to point out native Muslim imams main prayers exterior the bottom.

In Monday’s speech, Mr Macron defended France’s army presence in Niger, stating that with out intervention from Paris, the nation would “now not exist” with its “current borders”.

Neighbours Mali and Burkina Faso, that are additionally each below army rule, would even have suffered the identical destiny with out France, Mr Macron stated.

France despatched troops to Mali in 2013 to steer counter-terror operations in opposition to an rebellion of separatist rebels and Islamist fighters.

France later expanded its operation to nations within the wider Sahel area – together with Burkina Faso, Chad and Niger.