In a recent development in Niger, the country’s military rulers have demanded that the United Nations coordinator, Louise Aubin, leave Niger within a short 72-hour timeframe. The move comes after growing tensions between the military regime and the international community.
The Nigerien Foreign Ministry issued a statement dated Tuesday, directing Louise Aubin, the UN’s resident and humanitarian coordinator, to “take all necessary measures to leave Niamey within 72 hours.” The statement alluded to “obstacles” that the UN Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres, allegedly placed in the way, hindering Niger’s full participation in the recent UN General Assembly.
The military regime has been critical of what they describe as “perfidious actions” by the UN chief, which they believe could undermine efforts to resolve the crisis in Niger. Bakary Yaou Sangare, the new leaders’ chosen representative, faced competition from the overthrown government to represent Niamey at the UN, leading to a diplomatic standoff with no representative added to the speakers’ list.
France’s involvement in Niger has also added to the complexities of the situation. The French government decided to withdraw its 1,400-strong military contingent from Niger after being ordered out by the coup leaders. Furthermore, France’s ambassador to Niger received marching orders following the coup that ousted President Mohamed Bazoum, a close ally of Paris.