Niger Military Rulers Demand UN Official’s Departure in 72 Hours

Niger’s post-coup military rulers, as seen in a statement by AFP on Wednesday, have demanded that the United Nations coordinator in the West African country departs Niger within 72 hours.

According to the statement dated Tuesday from the foreign ministry, the government has instructed Louise Aubin, the UN’s resident and humanitarian coordinator, “to take all necessary steps to leave Niamey within 72 hours.”

The statement cited “obstacles” presented by UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres that aimed at obstructing Niger’s full participation at the recent UN General Assembly.

The military regime has criticized the “deceptive actions” of the UN chief, claiming that they could undermine efforts to resolve the crisis in the country.

Bakary Yaou Sangare, Niger’s former ambassador to the UN who is now the foreign minister under the new leadership, was their designated representative at the gathering.

However, there was also an application by the ousted government to represent Niamey, as per a diplomatic source. Due to the competing credentials, the issue was deferred, and no Niger representative was added to the speakers’ list.

The decision to expel the UN official coincides with France withdrawing its 1,400-strong contingent from Niger following orders by the coup leaders.

France’s ambassador to Niger was also expelled after the coup that ousted President Mohamed Bazoum, a Paris ally.

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