The French foreign ministry stated that the defense agreement between France and Niger is grounded in accords signed with the recognized Nigerien authorities. This came as a response to the junta's move to cancel military cooperation agreements with Paris.
The military junta in Niger took this step after peace talks conducted by delegates from the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) failed. The ECOWAS delegation had arrived in Niamey to initiate dialogue with the junta in pursuit of a return to constitutional order.
Though initial contacts were positive, the junta's representative, Colonel-Major Amadou Abdramane, eventually announced the suspension of military deals with France on national television.
Prior to this, the coup leaders had also suspended broadcasts of French state-funded international news outlets, France 24 and RFI, drawing criticism from France's foreign ministry.
The decision to revoke five military agreements with France, dating back to the period between 1977 and 2020, has heightened tensions between the two nations. A diplomatic notice about the revocation will be sent to France, but as of now, there has been no immediate response from the French side.
It's worth noting that some locals have accused France of undue interference in their country's affairs, adding further complexity to the situation.
It was earlier reported on Sunday that the Chairman of the Economic Community of West African States, Bola Tinubu, had met with some fellow ECOWAS leaders to discuss appropriate ways to restore democracy in Niger.
The leaders of the West African regional bloc met to discuss sanctions to be placed against the military personnel who toppled President-elect Mohamed Bazoum on July 26, 2023.