In a new dose of tension and anger towards Paris, thousands demonstrated again, Saturday, in Niamey, to demand the departure of French forces from Niger, a demand of the military regime that came to power after the July 26 coup.
The movement was organized near a military base that includes French forces, at the invitation of the “M62” movement, a coalition that includes civil society organizations opposed to the French military presence in Niger, according to Agence France-Presse.
It is noteworthy that since the coup, similar demonstrations have been organized, in which thousands participated, in the capital, Niamey.
Several military agreements were cancelled
Diplomatic tension reached its peak between the ruling military regime and France.
On August 3, the Military Council announced the cancellation of several military agreements concluded with France, particularly related to the stationing of the French battalion, which deploys 1,500 soldiers in Niger to participate in the fight against terrorism and extremist groups.
All agreements include different deadlines, one of which is related to a text dating back to 2012, whose deadline does not exceed a month, according to the military.
Withdrawal of immunity from the ambassador
Niger also withdrew diplomatic immunity and a visa from French Ambassador Sylvain Eté, and asked him to “leave” the country, according to an order from the Ministry of the Interior issued Thursday, and a decision from the Supreme Court in Niamey on Friday.
These two decisions are justified in relation to the military regime, especially the “unjustified hostility” of France towards Niger, as he described it, and because Eteh’s presence on the territory of Niger constitutes “a great danger of disrupting public order.”
On Monday, French President Emmanuel Macron praised Etie’s work, pointing out that he is still at the embassy in Niamey.
Article 22 of the Vienna Convention governing diplomatic relations stipulates that the embassy buildings are “secured” and that employees of the host country may not “enter them except with the approval of the head of the mission.”