Coup leaders in Niger Republic have ordered the police in the country to forcefully evict French Ambassador, Sylvain Itte from the country.
Recall that the coup leaders last week gave Ambassador Itte 48 hours to leave the country.
The deadline expired on August 28 without France recalling Itte.
France in its reaction had said it does not recognise the coup rulers as the country’s legitimate leaders.
French President, Emmanuel Macron on Monday said the ambassador would stay in the country despite the junta’s pressure.
The latest statement released by Niger’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said Itte “no longer enjoys the privileges and immunities attached to his status as a member of the diplomatic staff of the embassy.”
The document also said the diplomatic cards and visas of the ambassador’s families have been cancelled.
The coup leaders since taking over power from the democratically elected President, Mohamed Bazoum, the junta has leveraged anti-French sentiment among the population to shore up its support.
The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) in its reaction agreed to deploy a “standby” force as part of efforts to ensure Niger returns to constitutional rule.
The force has not yet entered Niger, and the bloc says the door remains open to dialogue but it won’t wait forever.
The junta has appointed a new government and said it would return Niger to the system of government prescribed by the constitution within three years, a timeline that ECOWAS has rejected.
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