Niger declares French ambassador persona non grata; refutes similar measures against German, Nigerian, US envoys
The new Nigerien government has declared the French ambassador persona non grata and issued him an ultimatum to leave the country within 48 hours.
In a statement released on Friday, Niger’s Minister of Foreign Affairs revealed that the decision to expel French Ambassador Sylvain Itte was prompted by a series of perceived provocations by the French government.
Among the provocations, the statement notably mentioned the diplomat’s refusal to engage in a scheduled meeting with the minister and other actions that were deemed contrary to Niger’s interests, which led to this drastic diplomatic measure.
Meanwhile, the military junta has refuted media reports claiming it also ordered the US, German, and Nigerian envoys to leave the country, confirming that only the French envoy is persona non grata
The Nigerien Ministry of Foreign Affairs said it never ordered the envoys of Nigeria, the United States and Germany out of Niger.
“Contrary to the information distilled and purpose on social networks which report a decision by the Nigerien authorities ordering the Ambassadors of Germany, Nigeria and the United States of America to leave Nigerien territory within 48 hours, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs specifies that the said information is false and that only the Ambassador of France in Niger is declared persona non grata,” the Foreign department said.
The Nigerien Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Cooperation and Nigeriens Abroad also reminded those who are agitated and still doubt the expression of its sovereign will that Niger does not need authorization or an interpretation of the Vienna Convention of 1961, to exercise its prerogatives and have Ambassador Sylvain Itte leave, after the 48-hour period ultimatum.