Niger's junta instructs police to expel French ambassador



Niger's police has been instructed to proceed with the expulsion of French Ambassador to Niger Sylvain Itte, after the expiration of the 48-hour ultimatum granted to him, said an official statement broadcast on national radio on Thursday.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation of Niger's junta has informed the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the decision, according to the statement.

"The diplomatic cards and visas of the former ambassador of his country to Niger and his family are invalidated," the statement said.

As a result, at the end of the 48-hour given to the French diplomat to leave Niger, which expired on August 28, the individual no longer enjoys the privileges and immunities attached to his status as a member of the diplomatic personnel of the embassy, the statement said.

Last Friday, Niger's junta ordered the French ambassador to leave the country within 48 hours, following several actions contrary to Niger's national interests, according to a statement issued by Niger's Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation.

The French Ministry of Foreign Affairs said later that they would not accept the request of Niger's junta, saying that "the military government does not have the authority to order France to withdraw its envoys."

(Xinhua News Agency)