The Niger military regime has ordered the police to remove French Ambassador Sylvain Itte from the country forcibly.
The soldiers who deposed Niger’s president, Mohamed Bazoum, had given Ambassador Sylvain Itte 48 hours to leave.
The deadline passed on August 28 with France failing to recall Itte.
The French government has stated that it does not recognize the coup leaders as the legitimate leaders of the country.
Despite the junta’s pressure, French President Emmanuel Macron said on Monday that the ambassador would remain in the country.
According to the most recent communique from Niger’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Itte “no longer enjoys the privileges and immunities attached to his status as a member of the diplomatic staff of the embassy.”
The diplomatic cards and visas of the ambassadors’ families have also been revoked, according to the document.
Since deposing Niger’s democratically elected president, Bazoum, the junta has capitalized on anti-French sentiment among the populace to gain support.
ECOWAS, the regional bloc, deployed a “standby” force and directed it to return Niger to constitutional rule. The force has not yet entered Niger, and the bloc says it will not wait indefinitely for dialogue.
The junta has appointed a new government and stated that it will return Niger to the constitutionally mandated system of government within three years, a timetable that ECOWAS has rejected.