Why The Military Junta in Niger has Expelled the French Ambassador to Niger and A Possible War

Nigerien military force
Nigerien military force Twitter

The French ambassador is considered persona non grata and has been asked to leave Niger territory within forty-eight hours (48 hours).

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation of the Republic of Niger has presented its compliments to the Ministry of Europe and Foreign Affairs of the French Republic.


The Niger ministry informed the two bodies that it ceases to recognise the French ambassador, Mr. Sylvain ITTE. This is a response to an action by the ambassador that the junta believes they cannot condone.

…to the refusal of the Ambassador of France in Niamey to respond to the invitation of the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Cooperation and Nigeriens Abroad, for an interview on Friday August 25, 2023 at 10:30 a.m ., and other actions of the French Government, contrary to the interests of Niger…

In the official letter released by the military junta, they were “honoured” to withdraw the approval of the ambassador, Mr. Sylvain. The claims came in due to the former ambassador refusing an invitation through Note No. 023/02874 of August 8, 2023. The invitation note for an interview was addressed to the “former” ambassador by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Cooperation, and Nigeriens Abroad. The letter also states that the French Government has taken other actions that are contrary to the interests of Niger. Therefore, with that, they asked Mr. Sylvain ITTE to leave the Nigerien territory within forty-eight hours (48 hrs).

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation of the Republic of Niger has conveyed this decision to the Ministry of Europe and Foreign Affairs of the French Republic, and it should be implemented. The statement also includes the renewal of assurances of the highest consideration.

However, France has rejected the 48-hour ultimatum and says it does not recognise the authority of the putschists/military junta.

The decision to expel the French ambassador comes following some important developments recently in Niger:

  • The United States has begun evacuating its nationals and personnel present in Niger.
  • Nigerian President Tinubu’s statement on his position and role within ECOWAS
  • Initial reports indicate that the ECOWAS standby force is now ready.
  • Niger has ordered it’s troops to go on “maximum alert.”
Mr Sylvain ITTE, French Ambassador to Niger

Is a military intervention expected anytime soon, with Niamey on maximum alert?


The military junta in Niger has put its forces on high alert. This leads to a response citing a possible threat of attack soon. The defence chief has confirmed in the alert that the forces should be ready to respond adequately in the case of any attack and avoid any surprise attack on Niamey.

“Threats of aggression to the national territory are increasingly being felt,”

ECOWAS has come in to comment on the events, stating that it has not declared war on the people of Niger and is not planning on doing so. The President of the ECOWAS Commission, Omar Alieu Touray, still believes that diplomatic ways of resolving the conflict are still applicable.

“For the avoidance of doubt, let me state unequivocally that ECOWAS has neither declared war on the people of Niger nor is there a plan, as it is being purported, to invade the country,”

With these events, could we see “Niger in a long awaited war?

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