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    Putsch in Niger: Paris discusses with Niamey the withdrawal of part of its military personnel

    The Prime Minister of Niger said Monday that “exchanges” were underway to “allow very quickly” the departure of French troops. Discussions confirmed by the Minister of Defense, Sebastien Lecornu.

    “Exchanges” are taking place between the Nigerien and French armies on the withdrawal of “certain French military elements” in Niger, while the generals who have taken power are demanding the departure of the French soldiers, the Ministry of the Armed Forces said on Tuesday.

    “Discussions on the withdrawal of certain military elements have begun,” said the ministry, without specifying which units were concerned among the 1,500 French soldiers deployed in the Sahel country to support the anti-jihadist fight.

    “The question of maintaining some of our forces arises”

    The generals who took power in Niger at the end of July in a coup d’etat denounced several military cooperation agreements with Paris on August 3. Since then, the French armies no longer support the Nigerien soldiers on the ground.

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    Thus “the question of maintaining certain of our forces arises”, according to the ministry, in particular the units responsible for maintaining equipment unused on site for more than a month, such as for example drones, helicopters or fighter.

    “Functional coordination exchanges exist locally between the military to facilitate the movements of French military assets immobilized since the suspension of anti-terrorist cooperation” after the coup, the minister’s entourage had indicated earlier, without specifying the nature of these “movements”, their scale or their course.

    Niger hopes to maintain “cooperation” with France

    On Monday, the Nigerien Prime Minister appointed by the military in power, Ali Mahaman Lamine Zeine, affirmed that “exchanges” were taking place to obtain a departure of French soldiers. The “exchanges that are underway should allow their withdrawal very quickly,” he declared during a press conference.

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    Ali Mahaman Lamine Zeine, however, assured that his government hoped “if possible to maintain cooperation with a country with which we have shared a lot of things.”

    France, a former colonial power, does not recognize the new authorities in Niamey and is currently maintaining its ambassador and its soldiers in Niger, despite the injunctions of the new authorities having dismissed President Mohamed Bazoum.

    France is present on a planned air enclave in Niamey located within a Nigerien military base, and on two advanced posts alongside the Nigeriens in the so-called “three borders” zone between Niger, Burkina Faso and Mali, reputed to serve as a refuge for jihadists from the Islamic State group.

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    Source: BFM TV

    This post is posted by Awutar staff members. Awutar is a global multimedia website. Our Email: [email protected]


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