The French soldiers were deployed to fight against jihadists across the Sahel region and they were based in Niger. The French troops became uncomfortable since the new regime started ordering them to leave their country, stopped supplies of food, and repeated anti-French demonstrations outside the Niamey base.
The leaders of a coup in Niger have ordered the French troops to vacate Niger and stated that convoys of the French troops will be escorted out of the country overland under escort from Niger forces. The withdrawal will be causing logistical headaches for the French, with few safe routes out of the country occupied by myriad jihadist groups. The move involves a complex and sensitive process that will take the French to complete by the end of the year, drawing the curtain on another French anti-jihadist operation in Africa. This is making it the fourth time within two years that French troops have been sent out by a former African colony, and has meted a severe blow to France’s influence on the continent.
The French army said on Tuesday it had begun withdrawing its troops from Niger following the order given to them. The spokesman of the French chief of staff told AFP that: “The first troops have left.” The Niger’s military leadership confirmed it and said that “the 1,400-strong French contingent would begin leaving Tuesday”. According to Punch News a French defence source said, “The first group of soldiers that were considered a priority for evacuation for health or humanitarian reasons flew out of Niger on Monday”.
The leaders of the July 26 coup gave France’s diplomatic and troops in Niger marching orders after overthrowing French-backed President Mohamed Bazoum, in September and labelled it a “step towards the sovereignty of Niger”. French President Emmanuel Macron insisted that Bazoum’s government remains the sole legitimate authority and tried to keep his troops and Diplomat in the country after the marching orders from the Niamey military leaders, arguing that only the dethroned president Mr. Bazoum had the authority to order their withdrawal. But in late September bowed to pressure to withdraw his troops and diplomats following months of anti-French protests. Marco sought to make a special ally with Niger and said that the “troops would exit by the end of the year”, thereby obeying the order of the coup leaders. Punch news reported that “In Niger, anti-French demonstrators have also been seen waving Russian flags – scenes in stark contrast to the rejoicing that greeted French troops in 2013 when they helped liberate northern Mali from Al-Qaeda-affiliated insurgents”