“The people” will “dictate” future relations with France, assures the military regime

“The people” will “dictate” future relations with France, assures the military regime

2023-10-02 09:30:22

“The Nigerien people” va « anger » THE “future relations with France”declared the head of the military regime resulting from a coup d’état in Niger, a week after the announcement by Emmanuel Macron of the departure of the French ambassador and the tricolor troops from this Sahelian country. “The Nigerien people will now dictate the shape of future relations with France”said General Abdourahamane Tiani, Saturday evening September 30, in two interviews given in local languages, one in Djerma, the other in Hausa, on national television, Tele Sahel.

Read also: Niger: “The objective was to make me crack”, assures the French ambassador returned to Paris

These remarks were made a week after the announcement by the French president of the departure of the ambassador to Niamey, Sylvain Itté, who returned to Paris on Wednesday, and that ” by the end of the year “ of the approximately 1,500 soldiers that France has in Niger, as part of the anti-jihadist fight. The Nigerien regime had ordered the expulsion of the diplomat and denounced military cooperation agreements with Paris, repeating that it wanted the withdrawal of French troops. “We are preparing for their departure”said General Tiani.

The military regime has been engaged in a standoff with France since the July 26 coup which overthrew elected President Mohamed Bazoum, an ally of the former colonial power. Paris does not recognize the new authorities in Niger.

“There are more and more terrorists”

” As they [les Français] were there to fight terrorism and they unilaterally stopped all cooperation (…), their stay in Niger has come to an enddeclared Abdourahamane Tiani. Not only have they not chased away the terrorists, but the terrorists are becoming more and more numerous. »

The country is undermined in the west and southeast by recurring jihadist attacks, perpetrated by groups linked to Al-Qaeda and the Islamic State.

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For his part, the French Minister of the Armed Forces, Sébastien Lecornu, estimated on Friday that “the Sahel risks collapsing on itself”following the departure of French soldiers from neighboring Mali and Burkina Faso, also led by soldiers, and soon from Niger. “We were a solution for the security of the Sahel”he insisted.

General Tiani once again justified the coup by jihadist attacks. THE “country risks one day disappearing, we then decided to take measures since people [au pouvoir sous Bazoum] did not listen to their military advisors”, did he declare.

France, moreover, “is not the only country with which we have cultural relations”he added, in reaction to the suspension of the issuance of visas by Paris from Niger, Burkina Faso and Mali.

The problem “is not democracy”

“We do not have the right to spend five years in power, you have to be elected for that”, he also assured Saturday evening, a few weeks after announcing a transition of maximum three years. According to Mr. Tiani “the problem is not democracy, sometimes it is elected figures who twist the necks of texts to do as they please”.


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He also justified the coup by “the squandering of public funds” by former leaders. On this subject, the regime announced the creation of an anti-corruption commission. Mr. Tiani recalled the establishment of a « dialogue national » to write new texts governing Nigerien political life.

Read also: Niger: “The objective was to make me crack”, assures the French ambassador returned to Paris

Since the coup, Niger has been the subject of political and economic sanctions from the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), which has threatened the country with armed intervention. According to General Tiani, this organization “didn’t even look” has “know the reasons” of the putsch. He deplores that “the populations are suffering from the embargo”.

Criticized by Western and African countries, the Nigerien regime has found new allies, Mali and Burkina. Mr. Tiani recalled having created a defense cooperation with them, the Alliance of Sahel States (AES), specifying that“an economic agreement will come next”.

Mr. Bazoum, sequestered since the coup d’état in his presidential residence, and to whom Emmanuel Macron has reaffirmed his support, appealed to the ECOWAS court of justice for his release.

The World with AFP

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