Niger demands ‘negotiated framework’ for France withdrawal

Niger’s military government has demanded a “negotiated framework” for the French troop planned pull-out from the West African country.

In a statement released overnight, the government said the timeframe for the pull-out “must be set out in a negotiated framework and by mutual agreement.”

The statement came after French President Emmanuel Macron announced on Sunday the withdrawal of France’s ambassador from Niger, and an end to its military presence in the country after he had initially taken a defiant stance.

Around 1,500 French troops in Niger will leave in “the months and weeks to come” with a full pull-out “by the end of the year”, the president said.

The government in Niger welcomed the announcement but stressed that they were waiting for it to be followed up by official action by French authorities.

Relations between Paris and Niamey have been deteriorating since the Nigerien military ousted pro-Western former president, Mohamed Bazoum, in a coup on July 26.

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