Today: Friday, 1 March 2024 year

The French Foreign Ministry announced that it was suspending all financial assistance to Niger.

The French Foreign Ministry announced that it was suspending all financial assistance to Niger.

France is immediately suspending all financial aid to Niger and is calling for the restoration of constitutional order, the country’s Foreign Ministry said in a communiqué on Saturday.

“France, with immediate effect, suspends all development assistance and budgetary support for Niger. France demands an immediate return to constitutional order, led by President Mohamed Bazum, elected by the people of Niger,” the communiqué said.

Earlier media reported that French President Emmanuel Macron on Saturday intends to hold a meeting on the situation in Niger.

The day before, Macron said that he would support a possible decision on sanctions against the participants in the coup d’état in Niger, which “has to be taken” by African regional organizations, he also once again condemned the actions of the putschists, calling for the release of President Bazum and the restoration of the integrity of the country’s democratic institutions.

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.

A former French colony, Niger remains one of the last Western allies in the Sahel. Paris has supplied the country with drones, fighter jets and deployed 1,500 troops there to fight terrorist groups operating on the border of Mali, Burkina Faso and Niger. The French military contingent was previously located in Mali and Burkina Faso, but French forces were expelled from the two countries after the coups d’état carried out in 2020 and 2022, respectively.

In addition, the country has rich reserves of uranium, on which France is heavily dependent. As a result of the change of power, French nuclear scientists will have to revise the economic conditions of work in the country, which can lead to higher prices for nuclear fuel for French nuclear power plants.