At least four European countries announced that plans to evacuate their citizens are underway in Niger…reports Asian Lite News
French Foreign Ministry on Tuesday announced that it is preparing to evacuate its citizens and people of European nations who wish to leave Niger, days after President Mohamed Bazoum was overthrown by members of his presidential guard.
It further said that the evacuation will start today. In a statement released on its website, French Foreign Ministry said, “Given the situation in Niamey, the violence that took place against our embassy the day before yesterday and the closure of airspace which leaves our compatriots without the possibility of leaving the country by their own means, France is preparing the evacuation of its nationals and of European nationals wishing to leave the country.”
It further said, “This evacuation will begin today.”
French Foreign Ministry’s statement comes after the supporters of the coup in Niger on Sunday burned French flags and attacked the French embassy in Niger’s capital, Niamey, Al Jazeera reported.
At least four European countries announced that plans to evacuate their citizens are underway in Niger.
Following the incident, French President Emmanuel Macron said any attacks on French interests in Niger will be met with a “swift and uncompromising response,” according to Al Jazeera report.
The pro-coup protesters were seen chanting the names of Russian President Vladimir Putin, despite requests from the Kremlin to release the nation’s democratically elected president, Mohamed Bazoum, CNN reported.
A plaque designating the Embassy was destroyed by some protesters, who later replaced it with Russian and Nigerian flags. In the masses, there were slogans of “down with France,” “long live Putin,” and “long live Russia,” according to CNN.
Nigerien security forces were seen using tear gas to disperse the protesters. One photograph from the spot showed people attempting to start a fire outside the compound, CNN reported.
Meanwhile, Italy’s Foreign Minister Antonio Tajani said that the government will arrange a special flight to repatriate nationals from Niger after the coup.
Taking to its official Twitter handle, Italian Foreign Minister Antonio Tajani stated, “The Italian government has decided to offer our fellow citizens in Niamey the chance to leave the city on a special flight to Italy.”
The international community has condemned the coup in Niger which saw members of the Niger presidential guard overthrow Niger President Mohamed Bazoum and install a military junta called the National Council for the Safeguard of the Homeland, CNN reported.
On Thursday, the Nigerien army command said it was supporting the seizure in a bid to thwart bloodshed. The military’s statement also warned against foreign military intervention, which it said “risks having disastrous and uncontrolled consequences”.
In a statement released on Twitter, Niger’s army command said it had to “preserve the physical integrity of the president of the republic and his family,” and “avoid a deadly confrontation… that could create a bloodbath and affect the security of the population, according to CNN. It further said that any foreign military intervention “risks having disastrous and uncontrolled consequences.”
Following the military coup that sparked international condemnation, Abdourahamane Tiani, a Niger general, declared himself as the country’s new leader, by appearing on national television, CNN reported. Tiani appeared on Tele Sahel with a banner identifying him as “President of the national council for the Preservation of the Homeland.” (ANI)