Today: Tuesday, 5 March 2024 year

Italy, following France, is evacuating its citizens from Niger.

Italy, following France, is evacuating its citizens from Niger.

Italy is organizing an evacuation flight for Italian citizens wishing to leave Niger, Foreign Minister Antonio Tajani said on Twitter.

“Niger. The Italian government has decided to offer our fellow citizens in Niamey the opportunity to fly out of the city on a special flight to Italy. The embassy in Niamey will remain open and will continue to operate, as well as contribute to mediation efforts,” he wrote.

Earlier Monday, Tajani said he was working with EU diplomat Josep Borrell and French Foreign Minister Catherine Colonna on a diplomatic solution to the crisis in Niger. According to him, he discussed the situation with them by phone.

Tajani also told state-run television channel Rai 2 that there are currently just under 100 Italians in Niger and “there is no danger to them.” The Italian media, in turn, report two Italians locked up in a hotel in Niamey for three days.


On Tuesday, the French Foreign Ministry announced the evacuation of its citizens. The move was taken “in view of the situation in Niamey, the aggression against the French embassy and the closure of airspace.”

On Sunday, the media reported that thousands of people in Niger took part in the action against France and the Economic Community of West African Countries (ECOWAS), as well as in support of the “National Council for the Defense of the Fatherland” formed by the coup participants. The action, among other things, took place in front of the French Embassy in Niamey. It was noted that the protesters chanted slogans against France and ECOWAS.

 


Earlier, the military of Niger, during a speech on national television, said that President Mohamed Bazum was removed, the borders were closed, and a curfew was announced. Before that, the military of the presidential guard blocked the presidential palace in the capital of the country, Niamey. Bazum’s office claimed that the army did not support the rebels, but later the command of the Armed Forces declared solidarity with them. The President is still held in residence. Bazum is fine and feels good, said Musa Faki Mahamat, Chairman of the African Union Commission. The commander of the Presidential Guard, General Tchiani, appeared on state television in Niger on July 28 as the head of the “National Council for the Defense of the Fatherland” formed by the coup participants.