Niger’s ambassador to France, Aichatou Boulama Kane, has pledged allegiance to the deposed president of the Niger Republic, Mohamed Bazoum.
Stating this on Friday, August 4, 2023, Kane insisted that she was still in her post, despite the coup in the West African country.
The newly self-proclaimed military government of the country had cut ties with Nigeria, France and the USA, following the new successful coup, where the constitutionally elected president of the country and his family have been held hostage at the presidential lodge, by the military guards in the country.
However, the military government led by General Abdourahmane Tchiani, who announced himself as the new President of the country, had recalled the ambassadors of the country, in France, Nigeria and others.
In her reaction to the development through a telephone interview with AFP, 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.
The ambassador who claimed to have received a notification to put an end to her mandate through a letter from the coup leader, said her position “was taken by illegitimate authorities. I am the ambassador of Niger in France,” she added.
She stated that she had received the notification from the coup leaders “by letter”, with the putschists designating a charge d’affaires to replace her — the first counsellor of the Niger embassy in France.
“I told the first counsellor that I reject this decision,” she said.
“I am currently in my office; President Bazoum called me yesterday and told me ‘Go to your office, you have my confidence and we will continue the work’,” she claimed.
The detained President, Bazoum, had earlier in his first statement in a column in The Washington Post on Thursday, since he was detained with his family, described himself as a “hostage” and said if successful, the coup will have “devastating consequences for our country, our region and the entire world.”
Bazoum however, called on “the US government and the entire international community to help us restore our constitutional order.”
Ambassador Kane also denounced a decision by the coup leaders to cut military cooperation with France as “illegal”, saying it “showed their intention to force France to pull out of Niger”.
Kane recalled that military cooperation between France and Niger had been “going very well” in the fight against jihadism in the Sahel and any withdrawal of France’s 1,500 troop contingent would be a “grave step back for our country in terms of security”.
The military leaders had on Thursday, announced that it was ditching military pacts between Niger and France, noting the former ruler’s “careless” attitude and its reaction to the situation.