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Niger: Group Calls for Withdrawal of French Troops

A civil society group in Niger known as M62 has called on France to withdraw its troops from the country.

Abdoulaye Seydou, leader of M62, a civil society coalition on Monday opposed the French military presence in Niger, asserted that his movement would not relent until French forces leave. Some 1,500 French soldiers have been in Niger since Paris made the country the heart of its Sahel operation last year.

“We won’t give the French forces one second on our territory once this deadline has expired, as the CNSP itself has made clear. All the villages, all the surrounding communes will descend on the capital and we will get them out. They will leave Niamey. They’re saying they’re in Niger, they’re not going to leave … but they’re going to leave.” Abdoulaye Seydou, M62 national coordinator

On August 3, Niamey’s ruling military denounced a series of military agreements with France, some of which include a one-month notice period. In recent months, fervent anti-French sentiment has been on the rise across France’s former colonies in west Africa.