France evacuates more than 1,000 people from Niger after coup

France evacuates more than 1,000 people from Niger after coup

Paris asks Nigerien authorities to ensure embassy's security in compliance with international law

By Nur Asena Erturk

France evacuated more than 1,000 people from Niger, a country hit by a military coup, officials said Thursday.

"On Tuesday 1 and Wednesday 2 August, our embassy in Niamey, the Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs’ Crisis and Support Centre and the Ministry for the Armed Forces’ Planning and Conduct of Operations Centre evacuated a total of 1,079 people, including 577 French nationals," the Foreign Ministry said in a statement, adding that the operation was led by military aircraft.

France also evacuated nationals from 50 other countries, including Europe, Africa, the US, Asia, Oceania, and the Middle East.

Paris asked Nigerien authorities Wednesday to ensure the security of its embassy and diplomatic staff in compliance with international law and the Vienna Conventions, because of calls for demonstrations.

A group of soldiers calling themselves the National Council for the Safeguarding of the Country (CNSP) delivered a statement on Nigerien state television on July 26, shortly after detaining President Mohamed Bazoum, and said they took the step due to the “deteriorating security situation and bad governance.”

Bazoum was elected in 2021, in Niger’s first democratic power transition since it gained independence from France in 1960.

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