Niger’s top court approved the immediate expulsion of France’s ambassador, revoking his diplomatic immunity, according to a request addressed to the court’s president.
(Bloomberg) — Niger’s top court approved the immediate expulsion of France’s ambassador, revoking his diplomatic immunity, according to a request addressed to the court’s president.
The development comes after France’s President Emmanuel Macron rejected the ruling junta’s demand to recall his ambassador a month after a coup disrupted relations between the two former allies.
The military junta that ousted Niger President Mohamed Bazoum gave French Ambassador Sylvain Itte 48 hours to leave the country last week. The deadline expired on Aug. 28 without France recalling Itte.
Read more: Gabon Military Officers Take Power in Latest Coup to Hit Africa
France says it doesn’t recognize the coup-plotters as the country’s legitimate leaders. Since the July 26 coup, France has committed acts that “violates the Vienna convention regulating diplomatic relations, including the violation of Niger’s airspace and other acts that goes against the interests of Niger and its people,”according to the document. Itte “has refused to leave the country after he was declared persona non grata,” it said.
A junta spokesman confirmed the document.
There have been nine military coups across sub-Saharan Africa since 2020.
Macron pledged to reset relations with Africa when he took office in 2017, becoming the latest president to promise to end Françafrique, as the country’s post-colonial political and economic influence system on the continent is known.
Read more: What’s Driving the Coups Across Sub-Saharan Africa?
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