In a significant move, French President Emmanuel Macron has declared that France will withdraw its troops from Niger by the end of 2023. The decision comes as a response to the evolving dynamics in the Sahel region and the recent strained relations between France and Niger.
Approximately 1,500 French soldiers have been deployed in Niger to combat terrorism in the Sahel region. Macron emphasized that the withdrawal would be conducted in an orderly manner, with the troops returning home by the close of the year. He explained the decision, stating, “We are ending our military cooperation with the de facto authorities of Niger because they no longer want to fight against terrorism.”
The French President also made it clear that France would continue to support the African continent in its fight against terrorism, but only at the request of democratically-elected governments and regional authorities. This statement underlines France’s commitment to upholding democratic principles in its international engagements.
Tensions between Niger and France escalated following a coup in Niger. The military junta in Niger had demanded the departure of the French ambassador, a demand initially refused by France. However, later, the junta ordered the expulsion of the French ambassador at the end of August, further straining diplomatic relations.
In response to these developments, France suspended visa deliveries in Niger and initiated the evacuation of its citizens. Simultaneously, Niger closed its airspace to all French-registered aircraft, leading to a deteriorating situation in the diplomatic ties between the two nations.
As the withdrawal of French troops from Niger is set to unfold, the international community will closely watch the implications for security in the Sahel region and the evolving geopolitical landscape. France’s commitment to working with democratically-elected governments in the fight against terrorism underscores the importance of democratic principles in shaping international relations.
Source: The Guardian
Our Twitter Page