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The Last Batch of French Soldiers Pull out of Niger

French soldier
French soldier

The last 50 of the 1,500 French soldiers previously stationed in Niger left the country on Friday morning, marking the end of military cooperation between the two countries, according to the Nigerien military.

Mamane Sani Kiaou, the chief of staff of the Nigerien army, and Eric Ozan, the representative of the chief of staff of the French army, signed a joint document on Friday, which centers on the withdrawal of French troops from Niger.

Since last Friday, all combat equipment has been repatriated, and the land and air convoys organized as part of the withdrawal of French troops from Niger have been completed.

According to a press release from the Nigerien army, the French troops were withdrawn under favorable conditions and in accordance with the timetable set by the authorities in Niger.

France had more than 1,500 soldiers in Niger, based in Ouallam, Ayorou and Niamey. The first convoy of French soldiers departed on Oct. 10, escorted by Niger’s defense and security forces.

Relations between Niger and France took a cliff-like drop after the military in Niger detained President Mohamed Bazoum on July 26 and chose Abdourahamane Tchiani, former leader of the country’s presidential guard, to lead the National Council for the Safeguard of the Homeland, a governing body established by the soldiers after the coup.

France has suspended visa deliveries in Niger and evacuated its citizens, while Niger has closed its airspace for all French-registered aircraft.

In September, French President Emmanuel Macron said France would withdraw its troops deployed in Niger by the end of 2023.

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