France demands Niger’s military junta end ‘adventurism’

France demanded Saturday that the military junta in Niger step back from its “adventurism,” because the region’s stability is at stake. 

Foreign Minister Catherine Colonna met Niger’s Prime Minister Ouhoumoudou Mahamadou, who was in Italy for a UN meeting when the junta seized power late last month.

A statement said France expressed support for efforts by the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) to change the course of the coup in the meeting at Niger’s Embassy in Paris.

The future of Niger and the stability of the region are at stake, it said.

Colonna said, after the meeting, that the junta should take the ECOWAS plan for military intervention very seriously, and encouraged it to retreat to put an end to the coup.

The ECOWAS bloc issued a one-week deadline last Sunday to the junta to return the country to normal and release President Mohamed Bazoum, who was democratically elected in 2021.

She said it has one day to end its adventurism

Colonna said France does not recognize the junta’s decision to cancel military cooperation agreements with France, saying they were made with legitimate authorities.

The junta in Niger late Thursday overturned several military cooperation agreements with France, putting the fate of its former colonial master’s military base in the West African country up in the air.

Amadou Abdramane, a spokesperson for the National Council for the Safeguarding of the Country, read a statement on national television revoking five military cooperation agreements with France, one dating to 1977.

Bazoum was detained by members of the Presidential Guard on July 26, and that evening, the military announced that it had seized power.

Two days later, Gen. Abdourahamane Tchiani, the commander of Niger’s presidential guard, declared himself the head of a transitional government.

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