Niger’s military junta ordered the French ambassador in Niamey on Friday to leave the country within 48 hours, according to the Nigerien foreign ministry.
In a statement released by the state-run ORTN channel, Niger’s foreign ministry said Ambassador Sylvain Itte refused to attend a meeting scheduled for Friday with the country’s foreign minister.
The ministry said Nigerien authorities had withdrawn Etty’s credentials in light of the refusal, also noting “other measures taken by the French government against the interests of Niger.”
“France has taken note of the putschists’ request,” the French Foreign Ministry told AFP late on Friday.
The ministry said, “The putschists do not have the authority to submit this demand, and the ambassador’s approval comes only from the legitimate and elected Nigerien authorities.”
CNN has reached out to the French Foreign Ministry for comment.
Separately, the US State Department said in a statement late Friday that Niger’s foreign ministry had informed it of “images of messages circulating on the Internet calling for the departure of some US diplomats.”
However, it said that this “was not issued by the department” and that “no such request has been made to the US government”.
“Unapologetic tv specialist. Hardcore zombie trailblazer. Infuriatingly humble problem solver.”