The French ambassador to Niger and other French diplomats are “literally hostages in the French embassy,” according to the French president. Emmanuel Macron.
Speaking to reporters during a visit to France’s Côte D’Or region on Friday, Macron said “food delivery was prevented” to the embassy in Niamey and that the ambassador was “eating military rations.”
The ambassador, Sylvain Itte, “cannot go out, he is persona non grata and is denied food,” Macron also stated.
After taking control of the West African country in July, the military junta ordered Itte to leave the country. He later revoked his visa and ordered the police to deport him.
But the diplomat remained in his post, according to the French presidency, and French authorities reiterated that they do not recognize the authority of the junta.
Asked if he would work to bring the ambassador home, Macron emphasized the authority of Niger’s ousted president, Mohamed Bazoum: “I will do everything we agree with President Bazoum because he is the legitimate authority and I speak to him every days”.