France evacuates citizens, EU nationals from Niger

French government ,Tuesday,commenced evacuation of its nationals and other European nationals from Niger Republic.

Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs, in a statement, said the move was expedient due to the closure of the airspace which left many nationals without the possibility of leaving the country by their own means.

France had also suspended, with immediate effect, all its development aid and budget support to Niger while calling for an immediate return to constitutional order under President Mohammed Bazoum, who was elected by the people.

The statement did not clearly state if the 1,500 French soldiers stationed in Niger will also leave.

Dozens of coup apologists and protesters in Niger attacked the French Embassy while denouncing France and waving Russia’s flag on Sunday.

The protesters set a door at the embassy ablaze before they were dispersed by the army.

Some citizens of Francophone Africa have, in recent years, expressed resentment for the former colonial power with some of the countries cutting ties with France and expelling French diplomats from their soil.

In Niger, some citizens who supported the coup took to the streets chanting , “Down with France” as they waved Russia’s flag.

It was not clear if Russia is involved in Niger as the waving of the former Soviet Union’s flag at the dawn of coups, which are now increasing in West Africa.

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