General Abdourahmane Tiani, the new strongman of Niger
The Chadian army indicated that it would escort the convoys to the Cameroonian border. N'Djamena is home to the command of French operations in the Sahel with around a thousand French soldiers.
According to Colonel Gaudillière, half of the sites of forward bases in Ouallam and Ayorou (north-west Niger), in the so-called three border zone with Burkina Faso and Mali, were emptied.
The French presence in the Sahel has continued to decline since 2020. Successive coups in Mali, Burkina Faso and finally in Niger have put an end to the anti-jihadist force Barkhane deployed since 2014 in Mali, which counted up to 27 ;to 5,500 soldiers deployed in the area.
Barkhane has crystallized the anti-French sentiment of part of African public opinion, raising the risk of demonstrations along the convoys.
France has supported deposed President Mohamed Bazoum since the July 26 coup and has called for his release like many countries and organizations. But the military regime remains inflexible for the time being.
Mr. Bazoum still refuses to resign and is held prisoner in his residence in the presidential palace with his wife Haziza and his son Salem.
On September 18, he took legal action in West Africa to request his release and the restoration of constitutional order in Niger.
The country has also been hit by international economic sanctions since the coup and many states have suspended their budgetary aid.
Thursday, x27;European Union, which itself suspended its aid, announced the establishment of a humanitarian airlift transporting essential medicines and medical supplies to Niamey.
Four flights will be chartered to deliver 58 tonnes of essential health supplies to strengthen the humanitarian response in the country, where stocks of vital products are rapidly running out.
A first flight has already arrived in the Nigerien capital, specifies the EU.