French President Emmanuel Macron announced that after two months of resistance against the military junta, French military units and the ambassador stationed in Niger will leave the country as a result of the military coup.
During a press conference, French President Emmanuel Macron announced that "France has decided to recall the French ambassador from Niger, in addition to all the diplomats stationed with him in the country." Macron added that "In addition to the recall of the ambassador, France has decided to suspend all military coordination or cooperation with Niger," and that the French forces stationed in the country will leave in the coming months.
The announcement comes after two months of France taking a firm stance led by Macron against the military junta that carried out the coup in the West African country. Over the past few months, Macron reiterated that he would not agree to withdraw French military forces stationed within the country and that he would not accept any compromise to France's diplomatic status in the face of "revolutionary forces."
The military junta in Niger welcomed Macron's announcement of the withdrawal of the military and ambassadors and stated, "Today we celebrate another step towards Nigerien independence and sovereignty."
The French policy shift comes after two months of local protests by pro-junta forces in Niger and an American demand not to take military action against the junta. This was an attempt to ensure that American bases in the country, where the U.S. military has invested hundreds of millions of dollars in recent years, would not be affected by the conflict between the sides.
Macron announced that he still views the ousted president as the "legitimate leader of the country" and that "he is marked for removal as a result of the courageous reforms he led and as a result of an anti-democratic ethnic conflict."