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BREAKING: Niger Coup 2023: ‘Long Live Russia’ Slogans Raised Outside French Embassy, Macron Warns Of Retaliation

Pro-Russia and pro-Putin slogans were raised outside the French Embassy in Niger’s capital Niamey on Sunday as protesters demonstrated against France’s influence over the West African country. Supporting the military junta, protesters demanded the closure of all foreign bases in Niger.

Videos of the demonstrations circulated on social media showed thousands of people gathered outside the French embassy demanding its former coloniser to stop its interference in Niger. Placards stating ‘Down with France’ and ‘France Out’ were seen during the demonstrations. The Nigerien army was deployed to control and break the crowd.

‘Long live Russia’

Protesters also shouted “long live Russia” and “long live Putin” in front of the French Embassy. People holding Nigerien and Russian flags were during the demonstrations.

The crowd also reportedly set a door at the French Embassy on fire. The protesters also brought down plaque of the Embassy and replaced it with Russian and Nigerian flags.

Macron warns of retaliation

Reacting to the protests, French President Emmanuel Macron’s office released a statement saying the country “will not tolerate any attack against France and its interests.” It also said that Paris will retaliate any attack against French diplomats, nationals, armed forces or businesses.

The French president spoke with Niger’s ousted President Mohamed Bazoum and former president of Niger Mahamadou Issoufou on Sunday, the statement added. Bazoum and Issoufou had condemned the coup, according to the statement. Bazoum, Niger’s democratically elected president was ousted on July 26 in the military coup.

On Saturday, France announced it was halting all development aid to Niger and urged for Bazoum’s reinstatement.

West African bloc suspend ties with Niger

The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) met in Nigeria to discuss about the political situation in Niger. The 15-member state bloc threatened to suspend its commercial and financial ties with Niger and freeze the country’s assets in the bloc’s central banks.

The ECOWAS also warned of possible use of force if Niger’s democratically elected President Bazoum was not released and his government was not reinstated in a week.