French President Emmanuel Macron demands Niger junta’s exit, Bazoum’s release

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French President Emmanuel Macron, on Thursday, demanded the release of ousted Nigerien leader Mohamed Bazoum, who was detained after a military coup led by the country’s former commander of the presidential guard, Abdourahamane Tchiani.

Macron also called for a return to democratic order in Niger, a former French colony whose elected president Bazoum, was toppled in a military coup in July.

The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) has said that they would keep all options on the table for a peaceful resolution to the crisis and ordered the activation of a standby force to restore constitutional order in Niger.

Bellnews recalls that France and the European Union had suspended security cooperation and financial aid to Niger following the coup, while the United States warned that its assistance to the country could also be at stake.

The coup has brought a major dent to the relationship between France and Niger, with French soldiers stationed in several parts of West Africa as part of its anti-terror operations.

“If we hadn’t got involved with operations Serval and then Barkhane, there’s no doubt Mali and Burkina Faso will no longer exist, and I’m not sure myself if Niger will still exist.”

Macron said African states had requested the French operations, which successfully prevented the formation of caliphates a few thousand kilometres from France’s borders.

Meanwhile, the President, Bola Tinubu on Thursday told the delegation of Islamic Ulamas who visited him in the presidential villa to return back to the Niger Republic and continue dialogue with the military junta.

The minister of information and national orientation, Muhammed Idris, told State House correspondent after the meeting.

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