France’s President Emmanuel Macron has responded to the junta’s accusations that France is preparing a military intervention against Niger.
Macron stated that France, and the French forces, were sent to Niger at Niger’s request and they are there to fight terrorism at the request of Niger and its democratically elected authorities, namely President Bazoum, his government, and parliament. In fact, their effective action has drastically reduced the number of terrorist attacks on Nigerien soil, at the cost of the lives of several French soldiers.
Macron also condemned the coup d’état that has been holding a democratically elected president hostage since last July. France’s position is simple: they demand the release of President Bazoum and the restoration of constitutional order.
They do not recognize the legitimacy of the putschists’ declarations, since President Bazoum has not surrendered his power. And so, if they redeploy anything, they will only do so at President Bazoum’s request and in coordination with him. Not with officials who today are taking a president hostage. France has been coordinating with all the presidents of the region and the heads of state and government on this issue from day one.
And they fully support the positions of ECOWAS. ECOWAS has condemned the putsch. It has imposed sanctions, as has WAEMU. And ECOWAS is continuing its work to free President Bazoum.