Coup: First Evacuation Flight from Niger Lands at Paris Airport

Following a coup last week that deposed the country’s democratically elected president, the first evacuation flight from Niger arrived in Paris on Wednesday morning.

France, Italy, and Spain have all indicated that their citizens and other European nationalities will be evacuated from Niger.

The French Foreign Ministry blamed recent violence at the French Embassy in Niamey, Niger’s capital.

Amid growing anti-French sentiment, protesters attacked the embassy on Sunday, chanting  “Long live Russia”, “Long live Putin” and “Down with France”.

With the crisis deepening in the country, West African regional bloc ECOWAS announced travel and economic sanctions in against Niger on Sunday.

Military leaders from member countries are also debating whether to send troops to the country and have warned that if the coup leaders do not return President Mohamed Bazoum within one week, they will resort to force.

The new junta in Niamey, on the other hand, enjoys the support of military regimes in Mali, Burkina Faso, and Guinea.

In a joint statement, the governments of Burkina Faso and Mali stated that “any military intervention against Niger would be tantamount to a declaration of war against Burkina Faso and Mali,” and they labeled sanctions against Niger “inhumane.”

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