Over 350 French citizens have been evacuated from Niger due to a military coup in the country, France’s Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs announced on Wednesday.
Two flights have already departed from Niamey in Nigeria, carrying French nationals as well as citizens from elsewhere in the European Union. A third flight is also scheduled as part of the evacuation operations.
According to the ministry, France has some 1,200 registered nationals living in Niger. About 600 of these citizens have expressed their wish to be evacuated.
Speaking to French news channel BFMTV on Tuesday, French Foreign Minister Catherine Colonna confirmed that France will not carry out a military intervention in Niger.
Last Wednesday, Niger’s Defense and Security Forces said that soldiers in the country had overthrown president Mohamed Bazoum, just hours after he was allegedly held hostage.
Two days later, General Abdourahamane Tchiani, former leader of Niger’s presidential guard, was named “president of the National Council for the Safeguard of the Homeland”. He subsequently signed an order to suspend the Constitution and dissolve the government, empowering the Council to exercise all legislative and executive authorities.