France Evacuates Indian Nationals From Niger
Following the military coup in Niger, the French Government evacuated over 990 of its citizens including Indian nationals over the past two days.
Taking to Twitter, the French ambassador to India, Emmanuel Lenain said that the French government had around 992 people, out of which 560 are its citizens while the rest of them includes nationals from many other countries, including Indian citizens.
“Following the military coup in #Niger, France has evacuated 992 people from the country through several rotation flights over the past two days. In addition to 560 French citizens, the flights evacuated nationals from many other countries, including Indian citizens,” Lenain said in a tweet.
Till now 4 flights carrying French and other national citizens have departed from Niger.
“4 flights have departed, 992 people wishing to leave the country have been transported. A 5th and final flight is scheduled for the end of the day,” French Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs said in a tweet.
Earlier, in a statement released on its website, French Foreign Ministry said, “Given the situation in Niamey, the violence that took place against our embassy the day before yesterday and the closure of airspace which leaves our compatriots without the possibility of leaving the country by their own means, France is preparing the evacuation of its nationals and of European nationals wishing to leave the country.”
It further said, “This evacuation will begin today.”French Foreign Ministry’s statement comes after the supporters of the coup in Niger on Sunday burned French flags and attacked the French embassy in Niger’s capital, Niamey, Al Jazeera reported.
At least four European countries announced that plans to evacuate their citizens are underway in Niger.
Following the incident, French President Emmanuel Macron said any attacks on French interests in Niger will be met with a “swift and uncompromising response,” according to Al Jazeera report.
The pro-coup protesters were seen chanting the names of Russian President Vladimir Putin, despite requests from the Kremlin to release the nation’s democratically elected president, Mohamed Bazoum, CNN reported.
A plaque designating the Embassy was destroyed by some protesters, who later replaced it with Russian and Nigerian flags. In the masses, there were slogans of “down with France,” “long live Putin,” and “long live Russia,” according to CNN.
Nigerien security forces were seen using tear gas to disperse the protesters. One photograph from the spot showed people attempting to start a fire outside the compound, CNN reported.
Last Thursday, the Nigerien army command said it was supporting the seizure in a bid to thwart bloodshed. The military’s statement also warned against foreign military intervention, which it said “risks having disastrous and uncontrolled consequences”. (ANI)
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