President Emmanuel Macron on Sunday announced the withdrawal of about 1500 French troops from Niger by the end of 2023 The French president also confirmed that the French ambassador to Niger would return shortly to France. This is following the coup that ousted President Mohamed Bazoum on July 26. "France has decided to withdraw its ambassador. In the next hours our ambassador and several diplomats will return to France," Macron said.
He added that military co-operation was "over" and French troops would leave in "the months to come."
France has already been forced to withdraw from Mali and Burkina Faso. Its withdrawal from Niger will come as a blow; the country had been central to French military intervention against the region's jihadists.
“France would consult with the military junta to make the withdrawal done peacefully.
“We will continue to support the African continent in the fight against terrorism, but we only do so if it is at the request of democratically-elected powers and regional authorities,” Macron added.
The military junta in Niger had demanded the departure of the French ambassador after the coup, but France declined.
The junta then ordered the expulsion of the French ambassador at the end of August.
France has suspended visa deliveries in Niger and evacuated its citizens, while Niger has closed its airspace for all French-registered aircraft.