France violated Nigerien airspace – military rulers

Lazy eyes listen


The military government of Niger has accused France of violating its airspace and releasing dangerous militants as part of a larger scheme to destabilize the country’s new rulers. Paris has denied any collaboration with terrorism and has asserted that a military plane was legitimately flown into the nation.

Army commander Amadou Abdramane said on national television on Wednesday that a French military plane had illegally entered Nigerien airspace, which had been restricted by the coup leaders since Sunday. Abdramane reportedly accused French soldiers of breaking out of jail more than a dozen terrorists to organize an attack on a military installation earlier that day.

“What we are seeing is a plan to destabilize our country,” Abdramane said.

According to the French Foreign Ministry, Abdramane’s charges are “unfounded.” According to the ministry, no terrorists were liberated, no attack on a Nigerien camp occurred, and the French military aircraft entered Nigerien airspace in accordance with an agreement with the country’s former government.

Last month, Niger’s military government deposed and imprisoned the Western-backed president, Mohamed Bazoum. Under the leadership of General Abdourahamane Tchiani, the new authorities moved to suspend a slew of military and trade treaties with France while securing military pledges from neighboring Mali and Burkina Faso.

Niger, Mali, and Burkina Faso are now all run by military regimes, which arose as a result of popular dissatisfaction with France’s decade-long counterinsurgency war in the Sahel area. While French forces have left Mali and Burkina Faso, Paris maintains a detachment of roughly 1,500 soldiers in Niger, where the US has its largest drone base.

The Nigeria-led Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) threatened Niger’s new rulers with military intervention, but the regional bloc did not act when the generals defied its ultimatum to restore Bazoum to power on Sunday. The United States and the European Union have cut off foreign aid to Niger, with Brussels allegedly working on sanctions as of Wednesday.

Despite the fact that its ultimatum went unheeded, ECOWAS is still considering interfering, according to French radio network RFI on Tuesday. According to RFI, Nigeria is willing to contribute more than half of the forces required for such an operation.

The coup leaders have threatened any military involvement from the West or ECOWAS with lethal force.