The ousted government in Niger asked France to take military action in the hours following the July 26 coup to free deposed President Mohamed Bazoum, it was confirmed on Saturday.
“When we realized, in the first few hours, that it was really a coup d’état, interim Prime Minister Massaoudou asked, quite normally, for France’s support,” one of Bazoum’s advisers, who requested anonymity, told Le Monde.
According to the French publication, the request was given serious consideration.
Bazoum’s government was a key Western ally in the fight against militants and to stop the flow of migrants across the Mediterranean Sea.
France, which ruled Niger as a colony until 1960, has 1,500 soldiers in the country, who had been conducting joint operations with its government.
The military administration, led by Abdourahamane Tiani, the commander of Niger’s presidential guard, earlier alleged that the toppled government had authorized France to carry out the attack on the presidential palace to try to free Bazoum.