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Niger coup: US declares military rulers took over

Niger coup: US declares military rulers took over

Niger coup: US declares military rulers took over

Niger coup: US declares military rulers took over

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  • French troops are withdrawing from Niger, heading to Chad, escorted by Niger’s military.
  • The withdrawal was ordered by Niger’s military rulers, who took power in July.
  • About 1,500 French soldiers are leaving by road.
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French troops have initiated their withdrawal from their bases in Niger. The initial convoy of soldiers was accompanied by Niger’s military as it moved in the direction of Chad, according to authorities in Niamey, the capital of Niger.

On Tuesday, pick-up trucks and armored personnel carriers, carrying French soldiers, were seen traveling through the dusty outskirts of Niamey.

This withdrawal was a result of the demands made by Niger’s military rulers, who took control of the country in July.

Niger’s military, in a statement broadcast on state television, called upon citizens to assist and cooperate with the troop movements.

This operation involves around 1,500 French soldiers leaving Niger by road, headed towards Chad, covering a journey of hundreds of kilometers through occasionally insecure areas.

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“The troops based in Ouallam have left their base today. These are the operations for the departure of the first ground convoy in the direction of Chad, escorted by our defense and security forces,” the military said.

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Additionally, there have been three special flights recorded at Niamey airport – two for the departure of 97 special forces members and one dedicated to logistical support.

The request for the swift withdrawal of French forces was made by Niger’s new ruling generals immediately after they assumed power on July 26. French President Emmanuel Macron later confirmed their departure at the end of September.

Around 1,000 French troops were stationed in Niamey, and an additional 400 were deployed at two forward bases in the northwest, close to Mali and Burkina Faso, an area with significant rebel activity.

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Niger’s military rulers have assured that the withdrawal will take place with the utmost safety, and the remaining French forces will depart according to a mutually agreed timetable.

The United States officially declared on Tuesday that Niger’s democratically-elected president was ousted in a military coup, resulting in the suspension of assistance to Niger.

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While there are no immediate plans to alter the US troop presence in the country, senior administration officials mentioned this decision restricts the kind of support that Washington can offer to Niger.

This action was taken as it became evident that the military government was not inclined to adhere to the constitutional guidelines for the restoration of civilian and democratic governance, as stated by a senior official.

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“We’re taking this action because, over the last two months, we’ve exhausted all available avenues to preserve constitutional order in Niger,” a senior US official said, speaking to reporters.

US Department of Defense spokesperson Matthew Miller said that some $200m in foreign assistance temporarily paused to Niger in August had now been officially suspended.

“Any resumption of US assistance will require action… to usher in democratic governance in a quick and credible timeframe,” Miller said in a statement.

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