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Growing tension between France and Niger

Paris, Aug 26 (Prensa Latina) Growing tensions between France and Niger’s coup government are more noticeable on Saturday, after Niger demanded the departure of French Ambassador Sylvain Itte from Niamey. On Friday, Nigerien authorities expelled the diplomat, who was given 48 hours to comply with the order.

Meanwhile, French Foreign Ministry dismissed the ultimatum, claiming that such a decision can only be issued by the legitimately elected Government, headed by President Mohamed Bazoum, who is considered an ally of Paris.

On July 26, the military ousted and arrested the President of Niger, a Sahel nation which used to be a colony of France, which has strategic interests there such as uranium and gold.

The junta in Niamey accuses France of preparing a military intervention.

Paris threatened a forceful response if its interests are menaced in Niger, where France maintains 1,500 soldiers who belong to the anti-terrorist Barkhane operation, a force whose presence is not welcomed by the new authorities.

In this regard, the French Government claimed that those troops are the result of a deal with the ousted president, the only one recognized by France.

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