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Niger’s Ambassador to France Defies Coup Leaders, Stays Loyal to President Bazoum

Niger’s ambassador to France, Aïchatou Boulama Kané, has declared that she will not accept the decision of the coup leaders to end her duties and that she will remain loyal to the legitimate president, Mohamed Bazoum.

In an interview with AFP on Friday, Kané said that she is “still the ambassador of the legitimate President Bazoum Mohamed and I consider myself such” . She added that she rejected the coup leaders’ notification “as null and unavoidable” and that it was taken by an “illegitimate power” .

Kané has been serving as Niger’s ambassador to France since December 2021 . On Thursday evening, the military perpetrators of a coup in Niger announced an “end” to Niger’s ambassadors in France, the United States, Nigeria and Togo in a statement read on national television . The coup leaders claimed that they have terminated the duties of the ambassadors and appointed business managers to replace them .

However, Kané said that she informed the first adviser of the embassy, who was supposed to take over her role, that she rejected the decision . She also said that she was currently in her office and that President Bazoum called her on Thursday to express his trust and support .

“It’s only him (Mohamed Bazoum) that I recognize, he’s the one who nominated me to President Macron, I stay and remain his ambassador in France,” she said .

Kané’s defiance comes as international pressure mounts on the coup leaders to restore constitutional order in Niger. President Bazoum was elected in February 2021 in a historic democratic transition, but his inauguration was marred by an attempted coup that was foiled by loyalist forces .

The latest coup attempt took place on Wednesday when a group of soldiers attacked the presidential palace and detained Bazoum and some of his ministers. The coup leaders have declared themselves as the National Committee for Salvation of the People (CNSP) and have suspended the constitution and dissolved the government.

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