DUBAI, September 1. /TASS/. The mutineers that seized power in Niger have accused French President Emmanuel Macron of meddling in the country's internal affairs and trying to push the Economic Community of West African States to invade the republic.
"Macron’s statements constitute further blatant interference in our domestic affairs," the putschist transitional government said in a statement," Al Jazeera reported. "Macron is using ECOWAS to force the community to take part in the colonial project and make an invasion of our country."
According to the mutinous soldiers, the French leader aims to "pit Nigerians against each other."
Macron on August 28 told a conference of French ambassadors that France was determined to back any efforts by ECOWAS, including military action, to restore constitutional order in Niger. He said France would continue to support the legitimately elected President Mohamed Bazoum, hailing his "courage" for refusing to step down. Macron urged Nigeriens not to succumb to the putschists' narrative that France had become an enemy to their country. He said the problem for Nigerians today is that the rebels are putting them at risk by refusing to fight terrorism, abandoning beneficial economic policies and losing all the international funding that would help them out of poverty.
In late July, a group of mutinous soldiers in Niger announced the ouster of President Mohamed Bazoum. They then established the National Council for the Safeguard of the Homeland, headed by General Abdourahmane Tchiani, to run the country. Leaders of the ECOWAS countries slapped harsh sanctions on Niger and demanded that the mutinous soldier release Bazoum, or face the use of force.
According to the ActuNiger news website reported that Tchiani on August 10 signed a decree to set up a transitional cabinet of 20 ministers, including military and civilian representatives.