French Ambassador to Niger Sylvain Itte who had been asked to leave by Niger’s junta several weeks ago departed from Niamey, the capital of the West African nation, early on Wednesday, accompanied by some of his colleagues, according to diplomatic sources.
The group was escorted to the airport by the Nigerien gendarmerie before taking off on a French Falcon aircraft, the sources said.
French President Emmanuel Macron on Sunday announced the withdrawal of the French ambassador to Niger, along with the end of military presence in the country. This includes the departure of the 1,500 French troops stationed in Niger by the end of the year.
Relations between the two countries have deteriorated since the coup in Niger in July. On Aug. 25, the Nigerien military junta requested the departure of the French ambassador. This request had been repeatedly rejected by the French government, as Macron had reiterated that France could only coordinate with the legitimate government of Niger, not with the coup leaders.