SEMUR-EN-AUXOIS: President Emmanuel Macron stated on Friday (Sep 16) that France’s envoy to Niger resides like a hostage within the French embassy and accused navy rulers of blocking meals deliveries to the mission.
The ambassador resides off “navy rations”, Macron informed reporters within the japanese city of Semur-en-Auxois.
“As we communicate, we now have an envoy and diplomatic employees who’re actually being held hostage within the French embassy,” he stated.
“They’re stopping meals deliveries,” he stated, in an obvious reference to Niger’s new navy rulers. “He’s consuming navy rations.”
Niger’s navy leaders informed French ambassador Sylvain Itte he needed to go away the nation after they overthrew President Mohamed Bazoum on Jul 26.
However a 48-hour ultimatum for him to go away, issued in August, handed with him nonetheless in place because the French authorities refused to conform, or to recognise the navy regime as legit.
The coup has been condemned by France and most of Niger’s neighbours.
Macron stated the envoy “can’t exit, he’s persona non grata and he’s being refused meals”.
Requested whether or not France would think about bringing him residence, Macron stated: “I’ll do no matter we agree with President Bazoum as a result of he’s the legit authority and I communicate with him day-after-day.”
France retains about 1,500 troopers in Niger, and stated earlier this month that any redeployment might solely be negotiated with Bazoum.
The nation’s new leaders have torn up navy cooperation agreements with France and requested the troops to go away rapidly.
Macron has for weeks rejected the decision to take away the French ambassador, a stance backed by the EU which has described the demand as “a provocation”.
Like France, stated EU international affairs spokeswoman Nabila Massrali final month, the EU “doesn’t recognise” the authorities that seized energy in Niger.
The impoverished Sahel area south of the Sahara, has suffered what Macron has known as an “epidemic” of coups in recent times, with navy regimes changing elected governments in Mali, Burkina Faso and Guinea in addition to Niger.