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The military junta in Niger has cheered up the announcement that France will pull its troops out of the country by the end of the year as “a new step towards sovereignty”.

The statement came hours after French President Emmanuel Macron announced on Sunday that Paris would soon withdraw its ambassador from Niger, followed by its military contingent in the coming months.


“This marks a historic moment that reflects the resolve and determination of the Nigerien people. This Sunday, we celebrate a new step towards the sovereignty of Niger,” said a statement from the country’s military rulers, who seized power in late July by overthrowing President Mohamed Bazoum on July 26.

“The French troops and the ambassador of France will leave Nigerien soil by the end of the year.”

Earlier Sunday, before Macron’s announcement, the body regulating aviation safety in Africa (ASECNA), announced that Niger’s military rulers had banned “French aircraft” from flying over the country’s airspace.

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