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Only a legitimate government can cut ties with us, France tells Niger junta

Niger's ambassador to France on Friday insisted she was still in her post despite the coup in the West African country, saying she remained loyal...

Niger’s ambassador to France on Friday insisted she was still in her post despite the coup in the West African country, saying she remained loyal to detained President Mohamed Bazoum.

Aichatou Boulama Kane, who has been in her job since July 2022, said she rejected as “null and void” an order by the coup leaders to end her mandate as well as those of the Niger ambassadors to Nigeria, Togo and the United States.

“I am still the ambassador of legitimate President Mohamed Bazoum and I consider myself as such,” she said in a telephone interview with AFP.

The notification by putschists to put an end to her mandate “was taken by illegitimate authorities. I am the ambassador of Niger in France,” she added.

Meanwhile, France on Friday rejected the Niger junta’s move to scrap bilateral military pacts, saying the west African country’s “legitimate” leadership alone was entitled to do so.

“The legal framework of France’s defence agreement with Niger is based on accords that were signed with the legitimate Nigerien authorities,” the foreign ministry said, after the junta in Niamey said it was cancelling military cooperation agreements with Paris.

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