Niger’s new military rulers have charged France with “blatant interference” as they accused President Emmanuel Macron, who has reiterated his support for ousted leader Mohamed Bazoum, of “perpetuating a neocolonial operation against the Nigerien people”.
Colonel Amadou Abdramane said on Friday that Macron’s recent comments “constitute further blatant interference in Niger’s domestic affairs”.
Macron on Monday backed the tough stance of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), including threats of military action, after the July 26 coup against President Bazoum, a close ally of France.
France, he said, “supports [ECOWAS’s] diplomatic action and, when it so decides, [its] military” action.
Speaking on state TV Abdramane said: “Mr Macron’s comments and his unceasing efforts in favour of an invasion of Niger aim at perpetuating a neocolonial operation against the Nigerien people, who ask for nothing more than to decide its own destiny for itself.”
Relations with France, Niger’s former colonial power and ally in its fight against an armed rebellion, went swiftly downhill after Paris stood by Bazoum. Macron on Monday hailed Bazoum as a “principled, democratically elected and courageous man”.