Niger sets deadline for French troops’ withdrawal

Niger’s junta has said French soldiers remaining in the country should complete their withdrawal by 22 December.

The remaining 157 troops are mainly from teams covering logistics, the junta said in a statement on X (formerly Twitter). It added that 1,346 French military personnel have already left the country.

There have been tensions between France and Niger following the 26 July coup, led by Gen Abdourahmane Tchiani, that deposed democratically-elected president and French ally Mohamed Bazoum.

France began to pull its troops out from Niger in October. The junta had ordered the French to leave, having accused the European nation of trying to reinstate President Bazoum by force.

The military leaders also said they plan to end some historical military and economic agreements with Paris.

Niger was seen as one of the West’s last allies in the Sahel region in the war against terror.

France’s influence in the area has been waning following a wave of coups across some of its former colonies.

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