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Niger: crowds rally in Niamey demanding French troops leave

Supporters of the Niger's ruling (CNSP) wave a placard that reads "Long live Niger' as they demonstrate ouside the Niger and French airbases in Niamey on Aug. 27, 2023.   -  
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Nigerien demonstrators demanded French troops leave the Sahelian nation just hours before time ran out for the French envoy to leave the country.

Among the thousands rallied near a base where French military personnel are stationed in Niamey's outskirts on Sunday (Aug. 27), some could be heard singing 'Chiani', the name of the coup leader, or 'down with France'.

"I've come here to demand the departure of French troops from Niger. That's what I've come to demonstrate today," a protester said.

"They have to hear us. I know they can hear us. Every day, people come here, people suffer, and all ECOWAS has to do is increase the sanctions. We're here, we're going to resist until death."

1,500 French troops are deployed in Niger to back Bazoum's regime in the fight against terrorism.

According to French media reports, most of France military capabilities in Niger are gathered in the Niamey airport. This includes fighter jets, drones Reaper, dozens of tanks and among tons of military materials.

"We don't want the French army in Niger. Let the French leave. Let them go back to France. We don't want them anymore. They killed our brothers, our fathers, our children. We don't want them anymore."

Following the July 26 coup that deposed president Mohamed Bazoum, France evacuated 1,079 people mainly French nationals by August 2nd.

France's envoy to Niger and its military personnel remained stationed in Niger.

In early August, the junta said it will scrap various military cooperation deals with France that were made under the ousted President. France however objected arguing the new authorities had no legitimacy to scrap the agreements.

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