Niger closed its airspace to French aircraft

The new authorities of Niger have decided to close the country’s airspace to French aviation, reports Le Figaro

According to the publication, an announcement with such a ban was sent to air operators. It said Niger’s airspace “is open to all commercial national and international flights except French aircraft” as well as aircraft chartered by the French side, including Air France. The airline told the publication that its planes do not fly over Niger anyway.

The African country’s military leadership had already closed its airspace, but decided to open it for commercial flights in early September. Restrictions on road transport have also been lifted in Niger. At the same time, the country decided to maintain the ban on military aviation flights – special permission will be required for their implementation.

Relations between the new Niger authorities and France remain tense. Earlier, French President Emmanuel Macron accused the country of holding the French ambador “hostage.” France also refused to withdraw its military from Niger, as demanded by local authorities; in this regard, demonstrations of local residents who opposed the French presence on their territory were repeatedly held near the French emby.

The military coup in Niger took place on July 27. President Mohamed Bazoum was removed, and the leader of the rebellion, the head of the presidential guard, Abdurrahman Tchiani, became the new leader. On August 10, he signed a decree creating a new government, which included 21 ministers.

On August 31, Niger’s Foreign Ministry announced that French Ambador to the country Sylvain Itte no longer enjoys diplomatic immunity. The document stated that he “no longer enjoys diplomatic immunity and the diplomatic visas issued to him and his family members have been revoked.” At the same time, the diplomat refused to leave the African country. Paris considered that Niger had no right to make such demands.

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