French Ambassador Reportedly Restricted in French Embassy in Niger, According to Macron
French President Emmanuel Macron revealed a concerning situation at the French embassy in Niger, sharing that the French ambassador, Sylvain Itte, and other diplomats find themselves in an unusual and challenging circumstance.
During a visit to the Côte D’Or region in France, Macron informed journalists that the situation had taken a concerning turn.
He explained that the embassy in Niamey was facing difficulties in receiving necessary supplies, even to the point where basic food provisions were being withheld. Itte and his team were reportedly left with no choice but to consume military rations.
Macron expressed deep concern for the ambassador’s well-being, highlighting that Itte was effectively confined to the embassy premises and considered persona non grata by the authorities in Niger.
This situation arose after the military junta took control of the country in July and subsequently demanded Itte’s departure, revoking his visa and instructing the police to remove him.
However, despite these challenges, Sylvain Itte remained steadfast in his position, a stance strongly supported by French authorities who refused to acknowledge the junta’s authority.
When questioned about efforts to secure the ambassador’s return to France, Macron emphasized the importance of respecting the legitimate authority of ousted Niger President Mohamed Bazoum. He pledged to coordinate closely with President Bazoum, emphasizing their ongoing communication.
Remarkably, despite the challenging circumstances, Sylvain Itte continued to carry out his diplomatic duties, as confirmed by French Foreign Minister Catherine Colonna.
She acknowledged Itte’s ongoing contribution and noted that he remained a valuable resource through his network of contacts and his dedicated team.
Colonna asserted that the ambassador’s stay in Niger would continue as long as deemed necessary by President Macron, highlighting the importance of this decision resting with the French President.