The Nigerien military regime resulting from a coup d’etat accuses France of “deploying its forces” in several West African countries, citing in particular the presence of a French ship, aircraft or helicopters, with a view to attack Niger.
The Nigerien military regime resulting from a coup d’etat accused France on Saturday of “deploying its forces” in several West African countries with a view to “aggression” against Niger.
“France continues to deploy its forces in several ECOWAS countries (Economic Community of West African States, Editor’s note) as part of preparations for an aggression against Niger, which it is considering in collaboration with this community organization,” declared a member of the regime, Colonel-Major Amadou Abdramane, in a statement read on national television.
According to the press release, the regime has noted since September 1 that “two A400M type military transport aircraft and a Dornier 328 have been deployed as reinforcements in Côte d’Ivoire”, and that “two Super Puma type multirole helicopters” and “a forty armored vehicles” were “in Kandi and Malanville in Benin”.
A French ship in Benin
“On September 7, 2023, a French military ship docked in Cotonou (Benin, editor’s note) with personnel and military resources on board,” according to the press release.
The generals in power also report “about a hundred rotations of military cargo planes having made it possible to land large quantities of material and war equipment in Senegal, Côte d’Ivoire and Benin, to name a few than these.”
“These maneuvers” aim to “succeed in a military intervention against our country,” according to them.
The threat of ECOWAS intervention
After the coup d’etat of July 26, ECOWAS brandished the threat of a military intervention in Niger, for which it had announced preparation, to restore constitutional order, free the overthrown president Mohamed Bazoum and restore him to his functions. .
A decision supported by France, which has around 1,500 soldiers in this Sahelian country, as part of the anti-jihadist fight.
On August 3, the Nigerien generals in power, who want the French soldiers to leave, had denounced several military cooperation agreements concluded with the former colonial power. One of these texts contained a notice of one month, according to them.
Forces “illegally” present in Niger, according to the military
The regime claimed in the press release that these forces were now present “illegally” in Niger. “On September 1”, the “Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces of Niger received the commander of the French forces in the Sahel in Zinder to discuss a plan for the disengagement of French military capacities”, he indicated.
The regime says it has been informed of “an announcement of withdrawal (…) which comes to us from an operational level and is therefore not carried by the general staff of the French armies, nor by the French government and n “has not been the subject of any official press release”.
On Tuesday, Paris said that “exchanges” were underway between the Nigerien and French armies to “facilitate the movement of French military means”, confirming comments made the day before by the Prime Minister of Niger appointed by the regime, Ali Mahaman Lamine Zeine. “The question of maintaining some of our forces arises,” declared the French Ministry of the Armed Forces.
Source: BFM TV