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Niger: French embassy closure reactions

The now-vacant French embassy in Niamey, Niger.   -  
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Sam Mednick/Copyright 2023 The AP. All rights reserved.


After months stuck in limbo, the French embassy in Niger shut its doors for the last time on January 2, marking an end to the five-month stand-off between the country's new leaders and Paris.

Local residents, politicians and civil society actors welcomed the decision, saying that the closure represents a step in the right direction for Niger's future. 

The civil society group M62, which supported last year's coup which ousted President Mohamed Bazoum, is pleased by the embassy's closure. The group have long called for the Nigerien authorities to break off ties with France, holding demonstrations against the French military in late 2022. 

The movement believes the French should also close its companies in Niger. 

"It would be fair to the Nigerien people if, when France leaves with its embassy, it also leaves with the companies that have been exploiting our country for a very long time," says Bana Ibrahim, an M62 member. 

France's decision to close its embassy was made on December 22, alongside the withdrawal of the last of its soldiers from Niger.

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