The French international ministry says evacuation plans have been already underneath approach for European nationals residing in Niger.
The French international ministry has mentioned plans to evacuate French residents are underway within the West African state of Niger, days after President Mohamed Bazoum was overthrown by members of his presidential guard.
“Contemplating the scenario in Niamey, the violence in opposition to our embassy the day earlier than yesterday and the truth that the air house is shut and our residents can not go away by their very own means, France is getting ready the evacuation of its residents and (different) European residents who need to go away the nation,” the international ministry mentioned in an announcement.
“The evacuation will begin right now,” it mentioned.
Final Wednesday’s overthrow of President Bazoum – the seventh army takeover in lower than three years in West and Central Africa – has despatched shockwaves throughout the area.
Whereas the Financial Group of West African States (ECOWAS) has imposed sanctions on Niger and threatened the attainable use of pressure, the governments of Burkina Faso and Mali have mentioned any exterior army aggression in Niger can be thought of an act of struggle in opposition to them.
On Sunday, supporters of the coup burned French flags and attacked the French embassy in Niger’s capital, Niamey, prompting police to fireside volleys of tear fuel in response. Afterward, French President Emmanuel Macron mentioned any assaults on French pursuits in Niger can be met with a “swift and uncompromising response”.
In keeping with the international ministry web site, there have been lower than 1,200 French nationals in Niger in 2022.
Italy’s international minister additionally mentioned on Tuesday that the federal government would prepare a particular flight to repatriate nationals from Niamey after a army takeover befell within the African state.
“The Italian authorities has determined to supply our fellow residents in Niamey the possibility to depart the town on a particular flight to Italy,” International Minister Antonio Tajani posted on messaging platform X, previously often called Twitter.
Landlocked Niger has had a turbulent political historical past since gaining independence in 1960. Earlier than Wednesday, there had been 4 coups and quite a few different makes an attempt, together with two beforehand in opposition to Bazoum.
France has had troops within the area for a decade serving to to battle armed teams, however some locals say they need the previous colonial ruler to cease intervening of their affairs.