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News > France

France to Defend Its Companies and Interests in Niger

  • People supporting the coup outside the French embassy in Niger, July 2023.

    People supporting the coup outside the French embassy in Niger, July 2023. | Photo: Twitter/ @Fr_Bechieau

Published 31 July 2023

On July 26, President Mohamed Bazoum was overthrown through a coup led by the National Council for the Safeguarding of Democracy.

On Sunday, the administration of President Emmanuel Macron warned that it will respond immediately and decisively to any attacks against French nationals, military personnel, diplomats, or French companies in Niger.


ECOWAS Imposes Sanctions on Niger Military Leaders, Coup D’éTat

"After the recent incidents in Niger, the Head of State has made it clear that anyone who attacks French citizens, the Army, diplomats, or companies will face an immediate and decisive response from France," the Elysée Palace stated following protests by hundreds of people outside the French Embassy in Niamey.

France also strongly condemned the military coup that occurred on July 26 and called for the restoration of President Mohamed Bazoum, who was replaced by the National Council for the Safeguarding of Democracy (CNSP). The military rulers announced the suspension of institutions, the closure of borders, and a nighttime curfew.

The Elysée Palace also revealed that Macron spoke with Bazoum and former Nigerien President Mahamadou Issoufu, both of whom clearly condemned the coup and called for calm among the population.

Foreign Affairs Minister Catherine Colonna said they have contacted the approximately 500 to 600 French nationals in Niger, but evacuation is not currently under consideration.

"All of them have been contacted. Precautionary measures are being taken in advance, as is customary in such situations. These measures will be strengthened if necessary, but there is no decision on evacuation at this time," she told RTL.

On July 28, France, which has significant economic and military interests in Niger, declared that it would not recognize the coup-based regime led by General Abdourrahmane Tiani, commander of the Presidential Guard. France also suspended its development aid to Niger.

France maintains a military detachment of 1,500 troops in Niger, the largest deployment in the Sahel, following the withdrawal from other countries where it was conducting anti-jihadist operations, such as Mali and Burkina Faso.

Economically, Niger is one of the main suppliers of uranium for French nuclear power plants, accounting for approximately one-third of the total supply in a country where 70 percent of electricity is generated from atomic reactors.

On Sunday, thousands marched in Niamey in support of the coup d'état, waving Russian flags and chanting slogans against France, ECOWAS, the European Union, and the African Union.

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