Niger: French Ambassador’s Diplomatic Immunity Withdrawn, Police To Effect Expulsion

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The Niger Republic military rulers have again ordered the expulsion of French ambassador Sylvain Itte and his family.

Bahdstreetvibes understands that the new military rulers also withdrew the French ambassador’s diplomatic immunity and ordered the police to expel him.

According to a letter seen Thursday by AFP, the military disclosed that the envoy “no longer enjoys the privileges and immunities attached to his status as member of the diplomatic personnel in the French embassy.”

The letter dated Tuesday and sent to the foreign ministry in Paris added that “(His) diplomatic cards and visas and those of the members of his family have been cancelled. The police have been instructed to proceed to his expulsion.”

Recall that the Niger military had, on July 26, overthrown its democratically elected President, Mohamed Bazoum, an ally of France.

Following the coup, France refused to recognize the military junta, which shattered its relationship with the West African country.

Last Friday, the authorities gave French envoy Sylvain Itte 48 hours to leave the country.

France refused the demand, saying that the government had no legal right to make such an order.

On Tuesday, French President Emmanuel Macron singled out Itte for praise after he remained at his post.

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French military spokesman Colonel Pierre Gaudilliere on Thursday warned that “the French military forces are ready to respond to any upturn in tension that could harm French diplomatic and military premises in Niger.”

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