French Foreign Minister and that

For their first trip to Africa since taking office, Catherine Colonna and Sébastien Lecornu must meet their Nigerian counterparts in particular and be received by President Mohamed Bazoum on Friday morning.

With our Special Correspondent in Niamey, Magali Lagrange

By sending these two ministers to Niamey, Paris emphasizes the two aspects of its strategy in the Sahel: one, civilian, based on development aid, and the other military. France is “beside Niger”, according to a diplomatic source.

The Nigerian Foreign Minister talks about a visit to “consolidate a deep-rooted friendship”. Hassoumi Massaoudou also links security and development. “If we give up because of security, we will lose the war,” he said.

This official French visit comes as Paris reorganizes its military position in the region, following its withdrawal from Mali, which was announced in February last year and should be ready by the end of next month. A new strategy should be proposed to President Emmanuel Macron in September.

On the French side, it is clarified that it is not about doing the same thing as in Mali elsewhere, but listening to Niger’s needs. While specifying that the number of French troops deployed in Niger is not currently expected to increase significantly in the coming weeks or months.

After Niger, the Minister of the Armed Forces, Sébastien Lecornu, is expected to leave the Ivory Coast.

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