France Ambassador to Niger Leaves Niamey -Report

France’s ambassador to Niger left the capital Niamey early Wednesday, a French diplomatic source and a Nigerien government source said, after weeks of the post-coup military leaders in the West African country demanded his expulsion.

“The ambassador and six colleagues left Niamey around 4:00 am (0300 GMT),” the diplomatic source from the French embassy said.

A source in the Niger Interior Ministry confirmed the departure and said the plane was headed towards Chad.

On Sunday, French President Emmanuel Macron announced that Paris would withdraw its ambassador, Sylvain Itte, from Niger, followed by the French military contingent in the coming months — both demands of the post-coup regime in Niamey.

Niger’s leaders, who overthrew the democratically elected president, Mohamed Bazoum, on July 26 welcomed the announcement by France, but said they were waiting for it to be followed up by official actions.