The first trip to Africa for the two new French defense and foreign ministers, Catherine Colonna and Sébastien Lecornu, was received on Friday morning by President Mohamed Bazoum. After this meeting, they held a joint conference. And on issues of security and development, there is a convergence of views.
With our Special Correspondent in Niamey, Magali Lagrange
From a security point of view, the Nigerian Minister of Defense notes a deteriorating situation in the sub-region, a fear for the countries of the Gulf of Guinea. Alkassoum Indatou underlines the vacuum created by the French departure from Mali and asks France for support “to help the Nigerian army continue its rise to power”.
His French counterpart Sébastien Lecornu shows a desire to pursue a high-quality partnership between Niger and France. Proposals should be submitted to the two Heads of State, who will decide more precisely on the outlines of this future cooperation this autumn.
On the development side, several announcements: EUR 20 million in budget support, EUR 8 million in food aid in connection with the war in Ukraine, and a financing agreement to help with the electrification of Niger. France wants to show that it stands by the countries that demand it, that it combines military action and development while respecting the sovereignty of the countries concerned, while developing a growing anti-French feeling in the Sahel region.