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Amid deteriorating ties since the July coup in Niger, France is contemplating the potential withdrawal of its troops from the West African country.

A defense ministry source, speaking anonymously to AFP, mentioned that discussions about withdrawing “certain military elements” are ongoing, without providing further specifics.

The recent coup, which took place on July 26, led to the ousting of President Mohamed Bazoum, an ally of France. As a result, France’s President, Emmanuel Macron, has continued to support Bazoum, who is now detained.

The military leaders behind the coup have urged the French ambassador and troops to vacate Niger, a move that has garnered significant local support, evident from the massive rallies in Niamey, the capital.

Approximately 1,500 French troops are currently stationed in Niger as part of France’s broader campaign against militant rebels in the Sahel region. With prior coups compelling French troop withdrawals from Mali and Burkina Faso, Niger has become an integral strategic location for France.

Catherine Colonna, the French Foreign Minister, reiterated France’s stance in an interview with the Le Monde daily newspaper, saying, “The only authorities in Niger that we recognize – like the entire international community – are President Mohamed Bazoum and his government.”


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