The President of France, Emmanuel Macron, announced this Sunday “an orderly departure by the end of the year” of the French military contingent in Nigerestimated at around 1,500 soldiers, due to the coup d’état that overthrew President Mohamed Bazoum in July and put a military junta in charge of the country.
In an interview with TF1 and France 2, Macron noted that France will be “always available” to help Africa in the fight against jihadist terrorism, as long as it is at the request of democratically elected governments or regional organizations.
“France-Africa is over (a geopolitical concept that reflected the influence of Paris in its former African colonies), when there are coups d’état we do not intervene,” he asserted.
Since 2022, Niger has hosted a good part of the remaining troops of the French anti-jihadist operation Barkhane, which had been transferred from Mali, where a military junta in power allied with Russia flatly rejected the French presence in its territory.
“We have been there because Niger asked us, Burkina Faso, Mali, to help them fight terrorism in their territories. Today those countries have been victims of coups d’état. Just today I spoke with President Bazoum, who is now detained because carried out ambitious reforms,” Macron explained.