Niger Coup Holding French Ambassador ‘Hostage’, Says Macron

niger coup holding french ambassador 'hostage', says macron

Niamey: French President Emmanuel Macron has stated that the Niger coup is holding its ambassador “hostage”. Along with the French envoy, the diplomatic staff is being held hostage in the French Embassy in Niger.

“As we speak, we have an ambassador and diplomatic staff who are literally being held hostage in the French embassy,” stated the French President.

Macron added that the Niger Junta has been preventing food deliveries. “They’re eating military rations,” Macron added.

When the Niger Military overthrew the government almost two months ago, it had issued a 48-hour warning to all foreign officials and diplomats to leave the country. This included French Ambassador Sylvain Itte.

However, Sylvian’s ultimatum passed as the French government refused to comply with the junta’s demands. France has also refused to acknowledge the junta as the legitimate government of Niger.

When asked if France would work towards bringing its diplomats home, Macron stated that he “will do whatever we agree with President Bazoum because he is the legitimate authority”. President Mohamed Bazoum has been placed under arrest at the Presidential Palace since the coup took place in July.

France 1,500 soldiers deployed in Niger. When the coup was announced, the junta tore up all military agreements and contracts made with their former coloniser, France and asked them to leave. France, however, continues to reject all demands made by the Niger coup. The French stance on the junta has also been backed by the European Union, who have refused to recognise the military government.