“The intention is to break me”: Sylvain Itte, the French ambassador to Niger, said he was “tired” on Thursday on TF1 channel two months after being chased out of the country by the perpetrators of the July 26 coup. “high tension” and was sequestered in his embassy in Niamey for several weeks.
The diplomat, who returned to France on Wednesday, described the coup as a “huge waste” in which “there are only losers”. We must know that the Niger-Niger issue is going all the way between the President who has decided to fight corruption and a certain number of generals who do not want this fight against corruption. He insisted.
Under the influence of the ruling army’s expulsion decision at the end of August, the diplomat would have been immediately expelled from the country if he had left his embassy. France initially decided not to comply with this expulsion order, saying it would only recognize the legitimate government of President Mohamed Bassum, who had been overthrown by a coup.
But after hinting that the ambassador was “held hostage” and surviving only on military food supplies, President Emmanuel Macron announced last Sunday that he was returning to France and the final withdrawal of 1,500 French soldiers in Niger.
That day, we were collectively in danger, and we came very, very close to tragedy.
“Threatened” by New Power
Sylvain Itte revealed that Nigerian companies supplying the embassy were “hampered, intimidated” by the new force and stopped coming. “We had to take out the garbage without our friends in Junta noticing,” he said. “It was about bringing back food, water by showing intelligence,” he said. “Quite clearly, the intention was to break me and thus expel me.”
The diplomat says he is “tired after two months of intense tension, but ready to continue his work”. He also returned to the violent demonstration that targeted the French embassy on July 30, a few days after the coup: “The attack lasted more than 2.5 hours. That day, we were collectively in danger, and we came very, very close to tragedy because there were over 6,000 people to fight it, to enter the embassy.
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