Understanding: French Troops Withdraw From Niger


Harare- The head of the United Nations diplomatic mission in Niger is being compelled to depart from the country by the junta, who assert that Niger was excluded from the September session of the UN General Assembly.
French military convoys have commenced withdrawing from bases in the southwest of Niger, further eroding France’s reputation in the conflict-ridden Sahel region.
This development arises subsequent to French President, Emmanuel Macron, announcing the departure of troops at the conclusion of September, in response to the demand for their evacuation made by Niger’s military generals.
According to a report from Reuters, on Tuesday, October 10, pick-up trucks and armored vehicles filled with French soldiers traversed the outskirts of the capital city, Niamey, subsequent to the junta announcing their departure.
The French soldiers were deployed to Niger as part of a broader campaign in the Sahel region against militants. However, since the new leadership began pressuring their withdrawal, French troops have been encountering sporadic food supplies and frequent demonstrations against France outside their base in Niamey. In September, compelled by the military officers who took control in July, France opted to withdraw its troops from Niger, signifying the termination of France’s military association with its previous colony.
The military governments governing neighboring Mali and Burkina Faso have also expelled French forces, heightening concerns in the West regarding Russia’s mounting influence in Africa.
In addition, the French evacuation comes after Algeria decided to postpone its mediation efforts to address Niger’s crisis.
Meanwhile, the United States officially labeled the military seizure of power on July 26 as a “coup d’état”. Consequently, the nation, which presently maintains approximately 1,100 troops and a substantial drone base in Agadez, central Niger, declared the withdrawal of approximately $500 million in economic assistance.