After the coup d’état in Niger, France suspends its development aid and budgetary support.
France announced on Saturday the suspension of “all its development aid and budgetary support activities” to Niger, following the military coup against elected president Mohamed Bazoum. Paris also demanded “the immediate return to constitutional order around President Bazoum,” said the Foreign Ministry.
Sanctions have not been long in coming. France is suspending “all its development aid and budgetary support activities” to Niger following the coup that saw the head of the presidential guard take power in Niger, the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced on Saturday, July 29.
Paris “demands the immediate return to constitutional order in Niger, around President Bazoum, elected by the Nigeriens,” the ministry reaffirmed in a statement.
Located in the heart of the Sahel, Niger is a vast desert territory with a population of around 20 million, with one of the highest population growth rates in the world.
In 2022, French official development assistance to Niger, one of the poorest countries in the world, amounted to 120 million euros. A slightly higher amount was previously scheduled for 2023, but will therefore not be delivered to the country, according to the Foreign Ministry.
French President Emmanuel Macron, who is currently visiting Papua New Guinea, strongly condemned the “military coup” in Niger on Friday, stating that it is “dangerous” for the region, and called for the “release” of President Bazoum.
Niger was one of France’s last allies in the Sahel, a region plagued by instability, poverty, and jihadist attacks.
France, which has ended its counterterrorism operation Barkhane and withdrawn from Mali under pressure from the junta in Bamako, currently has 1,500 military personnel deployed in Niger who have been operating jointly with the Nigerien army.
The coup in Niamey is the third in this area since 2020, following the military takeovers in Mali and Burkina Faso.