French military forces initiate the withdrawal process from Niger, a nation affected by a coup.


On Tuesday, October 10, the French military confirmed the commencement of troop withdrawal from Niger. This decision came after the military junta, which had ousted the president, an ally to France and the US, ordered their departure.

This marks the beginning of a complex and delicate process that Paris anticipates completing by the end of the year. A spokesperson for the French chief of staff informed AFP that the first group of troops had already left, corroborating an announcement made on Monday by Niger’s military leadership, which had indicated that the 1,400-strong French contingent would initiate their departure on Tuesday.

Additionally, a French defense source revealed that a priority group of soldiers, primarily for reasons related to health or humanitarian concerns, had departed Niger on Monday.

Furthermore, the Nigerien army disclosed that it was facilitating the exit of certain soldiers from Nigerien territory, without specifying their destination. The Nigerien government had previously assured that the withdrawal would be carried out in a safe manner.

According to security sources, the French military is expected to travel approximately 1,600 kilometers (1,000 miles) along roads and tracks to reach the capital, N’Djamena, where French forces in the Sahel command are based, potentially heading toward Chad.

Until now, around 1,000 French troops were stationed in Niamey, with an additional 400 deployed at two forward bases in the northwest, near Mali and Burkina Faso.

This marks the third instance in 18 months that former African colonies have asked French troops to leave, significantly impacting France’s influence on the continent and its prestige on the international stage.

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