Embassy Siege Continues in Niger

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The French embassy in Niger is undergoing a virtual siege. French President Macron has stated that the embassy has been relying on military rations as resupplying has been halted.

The new Niger regime has repeatedly asked French troops and the embassy staff to leave the country. France has refused, saying it would only deal with the ousted President. France 24 reports:

The ambassador is living off “military rations”, Macron told reporters in the eastern town of Semur-en-Auxois.

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

France currently hosts 1,500 troops in Niger, dealing with Islamic insurgencies in the Northern Sahel region. Both nations are at an impasse, as an attack on the other could spell trouble for either country. The Hill continues:

The Conseil national pour la sauvegarde de la patrie (CNSP) — the military junta that orchestrated the takeover on July 26 and ousted President Mohamed Bazoum from power after two years in office — demanded that the ambassador be expelled from Niger on Aug. 25. The group gave France 48 hours to remove him.

France, who has condemned the coup, refused to comply and maintained that the junta did not have the authority to make such a request.

France and its allies in Africa are struggling to keep up with military coups. The Gabonese army recently ousted its longtime dictator Ali Bongo, but France has had little power to bolster its longtime ally.

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