THOUSANDS rallied Saturday in Niger’s capital Niamey to demand that former colonial ruler France withdraw its troops as sought by a junta which seized power in July.
The protesters gathered near a base housing French soldiers following a call by several civic organisations hostile to the French military presence in the West African country.
They held up banners proclaiming “French army leave our country”.
The demonstration was boosted by fresh arrivals in the afternoon and a dense crowd formed at a roundabout near the French military base on Niamey’s outskirts.
Niger’s military regime had fired a new verbal broadside at France on Friday, accusing Paris of “blatant interference” by backing the country’s ousted president, as protesters held a similar rally.
President Mohamed Bazoum, a French ally whose election in 2021 had stoked hopes of stability in the troubled country, was detained on July 26 by members of his guard.