France on Friday rejected the Niger junta’s move to scrap bilateral military pacts, saying the West African country’s “legitimate” leadership alone was entitled to do so.
“The legal framework of France’s defence agreement with Niger is based on accords that were signed with the legitimate Nigerien authorities,” the foreign ministry said after the junta in Niamey said it was cancelling military cooperation agreements with Paris.
Recall that the military junta in Niger Republic cut off ties with Nigeria, France, and other countries on Friday, after the peace talks delegates sent by the Economic Community of West Africa States failed.
According to a report on Friday by Radio France International, the “delegation from the ECOWAS arrived in Niamey, with the aim of establishing a dialogue with the junta in order to obtain the return to constitutional order. The first contacts on site were positive.
“But at the end of the evening, the CNSP spoke through the voice of Colonel-Major Amadou Abdramane, the same who spoke on July 26, when the soldiers announced that they had overthrown President Mohamed Bazoum.
Also, the Niger Coup leaders, on Thursday, revoked a raft of military cooperation agreements with France.
The country further suspended broadcasts of French state-funded international news outlets France 24 and RFI earlier on Thursday – drawing condemnation from the French foreign ministry.
A decision about the revocation of five military deals with France dating between 1977 and 2020 was read out on national television late on Thursday by junta representative, Amadou Abdramane, Reuters reports.
Abdramane added that a diplomatic notice will be sent to France to that effect. There was no immediate response from France.
Some locals have accused the former colonial ruler of interfering in their affairs.
The PUNCH had reported on Sunday that the Chairman of the Economic Community of West African States, Bola Tinubu, had met with some fellow ECOWAS leaders to discuss appropriate ways to restore democracy in Niger.
The leaders of the West African regional bloc met to discuss sanctions to be placed against the military personnel who toppled President-elect Mohamed Bazoum on July 26, 2023.