A soldier on an armored vehicle, part of the first French military convoy to leave Niger, drives out of Niamey, Niger, 10 October 2023. EFE/EPA/ISSFOU DJIBO

Niger’s coup junta gives UN representative 72 hours to leave the country

Niamey, Oct 11 (EFE).- Niger’s ruling military junta on Wednesday gave the UN representative in the country, Louise Aubin, 72 hours to leave, saying the organization was “sabotaging” the coup government.

In a statement, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced the decision, blaming the UN’s “maneuvers” to “damage” Niger. The National Council for the Safeguard of the Homeland (CNSP), the military junta in power since the overthrow of President Bazoum Mohamed in July, said the UN was “sabotaging” the country.

According to the note, the CNSP “noted with astonishment” the “clandestine maneuvers” orchestrated by the UN Secretary-General “at the instigation of France” to “prevent Niger’s full participation in the various meetings of the 78th session of the UN General Assembly,” which took place from September 18 to 26.

It goes on to say that this “sponsored sabotage” continued on the occasion of the IAEA General Conference, held in Vienna from September 25 to 29, and in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, during the Universal Postal Union Congress, held from October 1 to 5.

Increasing international isolation

This is the second international representative to be expelled by the military junta in Niger, after the French ambassador, whose expulsion was initially resisted by Paris, but who finally left Nigerien territory after being locked up in the embassy for weeks, with constant protests in front of the building.

French troops began leaving Niger this week after the military junta canceled agreements to host the Barkhane mission to fight jihadist terrorism, which is widespread in the region.

Since the July 26 coup, Niger has also been the subject of economic sanctions by its West African neighbors and has had much of its international aid suspended.

The latest country to do so was the United States, which on Tuesday officially classified the military takeover in Niger as a coup d’état, leading to the definitive suspension of $200 million in development aid to the country.

Three-quarters of Niger’s territory lies in the Sahara desert, the rest in the semi-arid Sahel region, and 75 percent of the population lives in extreme poverty. In addition, tens of thousands of people have been displaced by terrorism, floods, drought, and economic isolation since the coup has led to rising food prices and frequent power cuts. EFE