France Refuses To Terminate Military Agreements With Niger Amid Military Coup

( – France has refused to pull military forces out of Niger even though the new military junta, which recently deposed the country’s democratically elected president, believes that these military agreements are now invalid.

The controversy revolves around five military cooperation pacts made between France and Niger made under the previous government. The French government has so far refused to terminate these agreements despite the new government’s insistence that they are no longer binding in the wake of the ousting of democratically elected Nigerian president Mohammed Bazoum from power.

The French foreign ministry, referring to the recently deposed democratic government, said the military agreements were made with “legitimate authorities of Niger,” and that because neither France nor the international community recognizes the new military government, the agreements are still valid.

The Netherlands, on the other hand, joined other countries with pre-existing agreements with Niger on Friday, August 4, ceasing all “direct cooperation” with the country, declaring that it will not lend any support to the new military government. Instead, the Dutch government intends to support Niger with humanitarian aid efforts overseen by the United Nations, as well as other international organizations.

The new military government has since announced that the military pacts are now invalid. Abdourahamane Tchiani, the former head of the nation’s Presidential Guard, proclaimed himself the new leader of the military government two days after the previous president was ousted.

If the military agreements are successfully nullified, the French military would need to withdraw roughly 1,000 to 1,500 troops from the former French colony. A handful of U.S. soldiers are also currently stationed in Niger. The country has also received roughly $500 million in military aid from the U.S. since 2012, making it the highest recipient of American aid of any other country in the region. The country itself is seen as valuable to the West due to its abundant mineral resources.

The news also comes after the military junta warned on August 10 that it will kill recently ousted Bazoum if it faces any military intervention from other countries.

Copyright 2023,