Tensions Escalate In Niger As France Prepares To Evacuate Citizens And Coup Gets Support From Neighbors

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The French Foreign Ministry, citing the recent violence against the French Embassy in Niger, has announced that France will be evacuating French and other European citizens from the country. The military junta, which overthrew President Mohamed Bazoum, has shut down social media and closed Niger’s airspace. But the French Embassy said in an email to French citizens in Niger that an airlift operation would begin on Tuesday.  Meanwhile the regional body ECOWAS (Economic Community of West African States) has imposed economic sanctions on Niger and threatened to use military force if President Bazoum is not reinstated within a week. Since then, Mali and Burkina Faso, who underwent coups in 2020, issued a joint statement saying that “military intervention against Niger will be considered as a declaration of war against Burkina Faso and Mali.” Guinea also issued a statement in support of the junta in Niger and has refused to participate in the sanctions.