« Authorities were seen taking stringent security measures, including systematic searches of vehicles entering and leaving the French Embassy in Niamey on Friday, as the deadline set by the country’s leader leadership for the departure of French Ambassador Sylvain Ittie from the country expired.
A squad of police and armed gendarmes from the Niger forces was deployed around the embassy premises while regular checks were performed on passing vehicles, as seen in the footage.
The junta in Niger, which came to power last month following a coup, ordered the expulsion of the French ambassador, further straining relations between the two nations. French authorities have expressed their view that the junta does not have the authority to make such a decision.
This move is part of a wider trend in the region, with military leaders in Mali and Burkina Faso distancing themselves from France amid growing anti-French sentiment in the former colonies.
The junta’s decision to expel Ambassador Ittie was based on allegations of actions by France deemed ‘contrary to the interests of Niger’. These actions allegedly included the ambassador’s refusal to meet with Niger’s new foreign minister, among others. »