Macron defends French foreign policy as Niger junta’s ultimatum expires
29 August 2023 | 2:43 pm
France says it will not budge in its refusal to engage with Niger's coup leaders. A month after their takeover, they issued a Monday deadline to the French ambassador to leave their country, but Paris has insisted its envoy will stay put. Also, Africa sets its own stage in Kenya for conversations about its experience of the ravages of climate change. With the first ever Africa climate summit now a week away, we speak to its CEO about the existential stakes faced by the continent.
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Exactly six weeks after the coup in Niger, FRANCE 24 interviewed Abdel-Fatau Musah, the West African bloc ECOWAS's Commissioner for Political Affairs, Peace and Security. He insisted that ECOWAS was not discussing any kind of transition with the junta in Niamey and that instead the bloc continued to demand the release of President Mohamed Bazoum and the immediate restoration of constitutional order.
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Niger's coup leaders have tried to expel France's ambassador, but Paris says it doesn't recognize their authority to order him out. Macron said on TV he was "literally" a "hostage," stuck in the French Embassy in Niamey.
A video purporting to show the French Ambassador to Niger being booed as he is forced to leave the Embassy has been widely shared since Thursday, at a time of heightened tensions between coup leaders in Niger and France. This video, however, has nothing to do with that. It actually shows another coup-hit African country, as Emerald Maxwell explains.
Three West African countries ruled by military juntas have signed a mutual defense pact. Mali and Burkina Faso had previously promised to come to Niger's aid in the event of an attack.
Keir Starmer is in Paris a day ahead of King Charle's delayed state visit to France. The UK opposition leader has said he wants closer ties to the EU but won't seek to rejoin the bloc.
Nigerian President Bola Tinubu said on Tuesday he was seeking to re-establish constitutional order to address political and economic problems in neighboring Niger following a July coup and welcomed any support for the process.
The political crisis in Niger has disrupted aid efforts, the UN's humanitarian chief in the West African nation, Louise Aubin, told DW in an exclusive interview. The current wave of insecurity in Niger has also hampered the UN's aid operations there, Aubin added.
The foreign minister of Mali told the UN General Assembly that any military intervention in Niger would threaten Mali's security. The juntas in Mali, Niger and Burkina Faso signed a mutual defense pact last week.
The French president said military cooperation with the West African nation would end and France's soldiers stationed there would return home by the end of the year.
The German and US defense ministers have said they see no immediate need to leave Niger, following France's decision to withdraw troops. Niamey's junta has been more focused on the former colonial power's presence.
Mali's military leadership has said presidential elections could not be held on schedule due to "technical" reasons. Since taking power in 2020, the junta has promised to hold elections, but has repeatedly issued delays.
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