Some 20,000 people gathered on August 26 in Niamey to support the military regime that emerged from a coup, the day after its 48-hour ultimatum was given to the French ambassador to Niger to leave.
Supporters of the military who took power met on August 26 in the Seyni Kountché stadium, the largest in Niger, with Nigerien, Algerian and Russian flags dotting the stands.
Ramatou Ibrahim Boubacar, a model, adorned herself with Nigerian flags from head to toe. “We have the right to choose the partners we want, France must respect this choice,” she said. “For sixty years, we have never been independent, we have only been so since the day of the coup d’etat”, she believes, before launching: “so we are 100% behind the CNSP”.
The National Council for the Safeguarding of the Homeland (CNSP) which is now in power, headed by General Abdourahamane Tiani, has since taken France, the former colonial power, as its preferred target.
“You’re the one who’s going to hunt [les Français]»
“The fight will not stop until the day there are no longer any French soldiers in Niger,” CNSP member Colonel Ibro Amadou told the crowd. “It is you who are going to drive them out,” he said, adding however: “To drive them out do not go to their embassy (…) after everyone returns home, they will end up leaving”.
This new rally in support of the CNSP takes place the day after its decision to expel the French ambassador to Niger, Sylvain Itté, for not having responded to an “invitation” from the Nigerien Ministry of Foreign Affairs but also for ” other acts of the French government contrary to the interests of Niger”. He was given 48 hours to leave this country.
Paris replied by affirming that “the putschists do not have the authority to make this request, the approval of the ambassador emanating only from the legitimate Nigerien elected authorities”, those of President Mohamed Bazoum.
The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) decided after the coup to impose heavy economic and financial sanctions on Niger, suspended from this organization, and also threatened to intervene militarily in order to to reinstate Mohamed Bazoum in his functions.
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