First group of French, foreign nationals evacuated from Niger

The first group of French and foreign nationals evacuated from Niger arrived in Paris early Wednesday morning.

France on Tuesday announced its decision to evacuate its citizens from Niamey following the military coup on July 26, in coordination with Niger forces, according to a statement of the French Embassy.

The first plane transported 262 people, including French, Nigerien, Portuguese, Belgian, Ethiopian, and Lebanese nationals, the French broadcaster BFMTV said Wednesday.

The plane landed at Roissy-Charles-de-Gaulle airport in Paris.

A second plane is set to transport other French, Nigerien, German, Belgian, Canadian, American, Austrian, and Indian nationals, the French Foreign Ministry reportedly said.

The French Embassy in Niamey reportedly has a record of 1,200 French citizens, out of whom 600 wanted to return to France.

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, saying 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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