French forces in Niger will only be redeployed if President Mohamed Bazoum (deemed the legitimate head of state by Paris) so decides. This was Emmanuel Macron’s declaration this Sunday, September 10. The President of the Republic thus demonstrated his support for his counterpart, overthrown last July.
“If we redeploy anything, I will only do so at the request of President Bazoum and in coordination with him. Not with officials who today are taking a president hostage,” he said during a press conference following the G20 summit meeting this weekend in New Delhi.
The Nigerien military regime, resulting from the coup d'état of July 26, accused Paris on Saturday of "deploying its forces" in several West African countries with a view to "aggression" against Niger. “We do not recognize any legitimacy in the declarations of the putschists,” replied Emmanuel Macron, demanding “the release of President Bazoum and the restoration of constitutional order.”
After the overthrow of the Nigerien head of state, the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) threatened military intervention in the country, aiming in particular to restore Bazoum to his functions. A decision supported by France, which has around 1,500 soldiers in this Sahelian country, as part of the anti-jihadist fight.