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NIGER: Regime lashes Macron ‘interference’ for backing Bazoum

NIGER’s new military rulers on Friday accused France of “further blatant interference” after President Emmanuel Macron reiterated his support for ousted leader Mohamed Bazoum.

Macron’s comments, made on Monday, “constitute further blatant interference in Niger’s domestic affairs,” the regime’s spokesman Colonel Amadou Abdramane said in a statement read on nationwide TV.

Bazoum, a close ally of France, was forced out on July 26 by members of his guard.

Relations with France, the country’s former colonial power and ally in its fight against jihadism, went swiftly downhill after Paris stood by Bazoum.

The Sahel state is also embroiled in a standoff with the West African bloc ECOWAS, which has threatened to intervene militarily if diplomatic pressure to return the elected Bazoum to office fails.

On Monday, Macron said, “I call on all the states in the region to adopt a responsible policy.”

France, he said, “supports (ECOWAS’) diplomatic action and, when it so decides, (its) military” action, he said, describing this as “a partnership approach.”

He paid further tribute to Bazoum, hailing him as a “principled, democratically elected and courageous man.”

Abdramane said “Mr. Macron’s comments and his unceasing efforts in favour of an invasion of Niger aim at perpetuating a neo-colonial operation against the Nigerien people, who ask for nothing more than to decide its own destiny for itself.”

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