The military government in Niger has expressed delight following the decision of the French administration to pull out its forces from the West African country.
The junta said it is waiting for official notes on how the process will be conducted while calling for a “negotiated framework” established with France to coordinate the withdrawal of French troops from Niger.
The military junta said this in reaction to Sunday’s announcement by French President Emmanuel Macron that French troops would leave Niger by the end of the year while adding that the French ambassador to Niger would also leave immediately.
Government spokesman Col. Amadou Abdramane said Niger is waiting for Macron’s “declaration to be followed by official acts emanating from the competent French authorities.”
The withdrawal of French troops must “be established within a negotiated framework and by mutual agreement for better efficiency,” Abdramane said in a statement on national television.
The announcement of the withdrawal of the French troops came after several days of protests against the French army’s presence in Niger.
Niger hosts 1,500 French troops as part of a regional counter-insurgency force.
The move was welcomed by the military regime as “a historic moment that reflects the determination and will of the Nigerien people.”
Relations between France and its former colony have slipped down the line after Gen. Abdourahamane Tchiani, a former commander of the presidential guard, led a military coup that ousted President Mohamed Bazoum in July.
The military commanders declared in August that it has terminated the military accords with France, a decision that Paris dismissed as illegitimate.
The French ambassador to the West African country was also expelled but refused to leave even after military officials suspended diplomatic privileges and immunities.