France warns will retaliate if its interests attacked in Niger

AFP , Sunday 30 Jul 2023

France on Sunday warned it would retaliate if its citizens were attacked in Niger, after protesters tried to enter its embassy in the capital, Niamey.

Nigeriens participate in a march called by supporters of coup leader Gen. Abdourahmane Tchiani in Niamey, Niger, Sunday, July 30, 2023. AP


"Should anyone attack French nationals, the army, diplomats and French interests, they will see France respond in an immediate and intractable manner," the French president's office said, adding that French President Emmanuel Macron "will not tolerate any attack against France and its interests".

"France also supports all regional initiatives" aimed at "restoring constitutional order" and the return of Niger President Mohamed Bazoum, Macron's office said, as the West African regional bloc ECOWAS was readying to discuss the Niger coup during a summit in Nigeria.

French foreign ministry condemned the violence that erupted around its embassy in Niger, where a junta seized power this week in a coup, and demanded that local authorities protect the building.

"Nigerien forces have an obligation to ensure the security of our diplomatic missions and consulates as part of the Vienna convention," the ministry said, condemning "all violence against diplomatic missions".

"We call on them to immediately fullfil this obligation". Thousands of junta supporters gathered outside the French embassy in Niger's capital Niamey on Sunday after Paris suspended aid, with some trying to enter the building.

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