A new level has been reached in tensions between France and Niger: the French ambassador to Niger, Sylvain Itté, is “taken hostage”, according to Emmanuel Macron. “We are preventing food from being delivered. He eats with military rations,” added the President of the Republic, traveling to Semur-en-Auxois, in Côte d’Or.
Emmanuel Macron continued by indicating that “diplomatic members” are also being held hostage at the French embassy. On August 3, Niger withdrew Sylvain Itté's immunity and diplomatic visa, ordering the ambassador to leave the country.
Since the end of July and the coup d'état which overthrew President Mohamed Bazoum, dissensions between Paris and the putschists, led by General Tchiani, have increased. Several demonstrations in support of the coup have been held in front of the French embassy in Niamey in recent weeks. Among their demands, the departure of the 1,500 French soldiers still deployed in three bases in the country.