The French president Emmanuel Macron has slammed Niger military leaders saying its ambassador has been “taken hostage” by the new administration.
BFMTV quoted Macron to have said “In Niger, as I speak to you, we have an ambassador and diplomatic members who are literally taken hostage at the French Embassy.”
He added that the ambassador is compelled to consume only military rations because Niger’s government does not let new supplies into the embassy compound.
Relations between Niger and France have collapsed following the removal of President Mohamed Bazoum by General Abdourahmane Tchiani-led junta.
French authorities were accused by the junta of supporting the threat by the ECOWAS to intervene in Niger as the West African bloc continues to push for full transfer of power to a civilian administration.
Last month, Niger’s ruling junta ordered police to remove the French ambassador, signaling a further deterioration in relations between France and its former colony.
According to Paris, the army officers who took power in Niamey in late July lacked the authority to dismiss the French ambassador.
The French foreign ministry has also demanded the immediate release of one of its officials detained by security men in the Republic of Niger.
The European country stated that on September 8, a French national adviser in Niger was apprehended by the West African country’s security forces.