Following the Nigerian Air Force aircraft departure yesterday to Paris, President Macron has announced that France is ready to support ECOWAS military action in Niger.
The French president added that, the French ambassador will stay in Niger, despite the ruling junta demanding they leave the country.
Niger Extends Airspace Closure, Cuts Power, Water to French Embassy
The military leadership in Niger has issued a new Notice to Airmen that extends the closure of the airspace and airports by one week, until Sunday, September 3rd, 2023.
During this period, the airspace will remain closed except for flights with special permission from the authorities.
Escalation in Diplomatic Tensions: Niger Cuts Power, Water, and Supplies to French Embassy Following Ultimatum Expiry
The diplomatic rift between Niger and France has intensified as the 48-hour ultimatum set by Nigerien authorities for the departure of the French Ambassador to Niger, Sylvain Itte, has lapsed. In response, the Nigerien authorities have taken the unprecedented step of disconnecting electricity and water supplies to the French Embassy premises, additionally prohibiting any food deliveries.
The tension traces back to August 25th, when Niger’s military leadership issued the 48-hour ultimatum for the French ambassador to leave the country. This ultimatum was prompted by Sylvain Itte’s failure to honor an invitation from Niger’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, an incident that occurred on Friday, August 25. As a result, the Nigerien military declared Ambassador Itte persona non grata and demanded his exit from Niger within the stipulated 48-hour period.
The move to sever utilities and supplies to the French Embassy reflects the deepening diplomatic strain between the two nations. The international community now watches closely as this situation unfolds, speculating on the potential consequences and implications for the diplomatic relations between Niger and France.
Nigerian Air Force aircraft leaves for Paris
We also reported that the Nigerian Air Force Dassault Falcon 7X, with registration number 5N-FGU, departed from Abuja to Paris.
SAS Aircraft Arrives Niamey from Bamako
Meanwhile, TOWN CRIER also reported that a “Sahel Aviation Service (SAS)” Embraer ERJ-145LR aircraft with registration ZS-BBI landed today at Niamey airport from Bamako. The airspace remains accessible only with a permit.
In the past, SAS transported German soldiers deployed for Minusma between Bamako and Gao in Mali, and until the coup d’état, between Niamey and Gao.