Fifteen staffers of the European Union’s capacity-building mission, (Eucap) have been expelled by Niger’s military junta.
According to the country’s Interior Minister, Brig Gen Mohamed Toumba, said the individuals had “returned to Niamey on various flights on 24 January” without informing the government.
He confirmed they were ejected from Niger days later on 26 January.
Niger has been ruled by a junta since July when officers seized power from democratically elected President Mohamed Bazoum.
Soon after, the EU announced measures to impose sanctions on the junta leaders.
According to Niger, the Eucap mission – comprising 120 security officers helping to bolster Niger’s forces – was terminated in December after more than a decade of working together.
The junta has indicated its intention to downgrade military ties with European countries, while “diversifying” links with countries such as Russia and Iran.
Niger’s anti-Western rhetoric has also raised questions about the future of US troops stationed at a drone base in the northern city of Agadez.