Japan evacuates citizens from Niger

Japan evacuates citizens from Niger

At least 2 of Japanese nationals, 1 family member of 'another nationality' evacuated from Niger with support of France, says official

By Riyaz ul Khaliq

ISTANBUL (AA) — Japan on Wednesday confirmed that it had evacuated at least two of its citizens from Niger after soldiers seized power in the country over the weekend.​​​​​​​

Hirokazu Matsuno, the government's top spokesman, told a news conference in Tokyo that two Japanese nationals and "a family member of another nationality" were among those evacuated from Niger with France's assistance.

"Around 10 Japanese nationals in total were in the country as of Tuesday, and they have all been reachable," said Matsuno, according to the Tokyo-based Kyodo News.

Last week, a group of soldiers calling themselves the National Council for the Safeguarding of the Country issued a statement shortly after detaining President Mohamed Bazoum, saying they did so due to the "deteriorating security situation and bad governance" in the landlocked West African country.

Bazoum was elected in 2021, in Niger's first democratic power transition since it gained independence from French colonial rule in 1960.

On Monday, the authorities accused France of planning a military intervention with two Nigerien authorities to free Bazoum, who is still being held by the mutineers.

They also accused France of using lethal force against demonstrators and vandals near its embassy.

The French mission denied these allegations, saying the safety of French nationals in Niger is their top priority.

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