Niger junta cuts power, water to French embassy

Niger junta cuts off power, water to French embassy

by Niresh Eliatamby 28-08-2023 | 3:33 PM

Colombo (News 1st) - Niger's military junta cut off power and water to the French embassy in the capital Niamey on Monday (28th) as a deadline they had set for the ambassador to leave the country expired with France refusing to budge on its stance that the junta is not the legitimate government, international media reported.

The junta also called upon all suppliers of the military base just outside Niamey, where a thousand troops of France, Niger's former colonial master, are based, to halt supplies to the base noting that any that did so would be considered "enemies of the sovereign people". The troops have been carrying out reconnaissance and attacks on insurgent groups connected to ISIL and al-Qaeda.

Projunta crowds have surrounded the embassy and are also demonstrating outside the French base. Power and water have also been cut from the French consulate in Zinder, Niger's third-largest city.

No action has been reported at another base outside Niamey that houses 1,500 U.S. troops who have also been carrying out reconnaissance and attacks on insurgent groups connected to ISIL and al-Qaeda.

The junta appears intent on evicting France from its soil. Niger possesses one of the world's largest deposits of Uranium, which are being mined by a French government company and supplies the bulk of Uranium used by nuclear facilities in France.

The junta took power by toppling the democratically elected government on July 26. Ousted President Mohamed Bazoum has been held under house arrest while many members of his cabinet have been arrested.

Meanwhile, ECOWAS, West Africa's regional bloc, continues its economic blockade of Niger, but has not yet made any move to take on the junta militarily, as it has threatened to do. The junta over the weekend authorized the military governments of neighboring Mali and Burkina Faso, to send troops into Niger if ECOWAS commenced military action.