French President Emmanuel Macron has strongly denounced the coup in Niger as an “illegitimate and highly dangerous” act that has destabilized the Sahel region. The coup led to the ousting of democratically elected President Mohamed Bazoum and has drawn the attention of major Western nations who seek to maintain a key ally in the region facing insurgency.
President Macron expressed his concern over the situation, stating that the coup poses a significant threat not only to the people of Niger but also to the entire region. He further called for the immediate release of President Mohamed Bazoum, who has been detained by the coup’s rebel military forces since Wednesday evening.
The government of Niger has been widely regarded by a significant portion of the international community as a stronghold against Islamist insurgency in the vast and arid Sahel region, which has been facing security threats.
It is noteworthy that in recent years, French and international forces have been forced to withdraw from neighboring Mali. However, Paris continues to maintain 1,500 troops stationed in Niger. The removal of President Bazoum could potentially jeopardize the continuation of this deployment.
Macron’s remarks were made during his visit to Papua New Guinea. He stressed the necessity of restoring constitutional order in Niger and pledged support for regional groups such as the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) in their efforts to mediate and impose sanctions against the coup leaders.