The French president raises his voice. Emmanuel Macron declared on Friday September 15 that the French ambador to Niger was taken into “hostage” by the military in power and only fed on “military rations”.
“In Niger, as I speak to you, we have an ambador and diplomatic members who are literally taken hostage at the French emby”declared the Head of State during a trip to Semur-en-Auxois (Côte-d’Or, east-central France). “We are preventing food from being delivered. He eats on military rations”he added, pointing out the responsibility of the soldiers who overthrew President Mohamed Bazoum and took power on July 26.
Ambador Sylvain Itté did not “no longer able to go out, he is persona non grata and we refuse to allow him to eat”, insisted Emmanuel Macron. Asked about a possible repatriation of the ambador to Paris, the head of state reiterated: “I will do what we agree with President Bazoum because he is the legitimate authority and I speak to him every day”.
Mohamed Bazoum is still considered by France as the legitimate head of state of Niger. On September 10, Emmanuel Macron had already stressed that a possible redeployment of French forces stationed in Niger would only be decided at the request of President Bazoum.
However, he conceded that for Nigerien artists who do not yet have their visa, the situation promises to be complicated because access to French consular services is no longer possible.
Emmanuel Macron also confirmed that France “will continue to welcome, obviously” artists from the Sahel while voices were raised in the world of culture against an administration directive requesting the suspension of all collaboration with artists from Niger, Mali and Burkina Faso.
However, he conceded that for Nigerien artists who do not yet have their visa, the situation looks complicated because access to French consular services is no longer possible.“It’s not that we’re banning it, it’s that we can’t give it (the possibility of accessing the emby, editor’s note) because of the putschists and for security reasons”said the president.
The World with AFP