ABUJA, Nigeria (AP) — Niger's new military leaders accused france of amassing forces for a possible military intervention in the country following the coup in July. French President Emmanuel Macron said Sunday that he would only take action at the demand of deposed Nigerien leader Mohamed Bazoum.
Niger's junta spokesman, Maj. Amadou Abdramane, said that france is also considering collaborating in such an intervention with the Economic Community of West African States, a regional bloc known as ECOWAS.
“France continues to deploy its forces in several ECOWAS countries as part of preparations for an aggression against Niger,” Abdramane said late Saturday in a statement broadcast on state television.
Macron said he wouldn't directly respond to the junta's claim when asked about it after the Group of 20 summit.
“If we redeploy anything, it will only be at the demand of Bazoum and in coordination with him, not with those people who are holding a president hostage,” he said.
Macron, however, added that France “fully” supports the position of ECOWAS, which has said it's considering a military intervention as an option to reinstate Bazoum as president.
Since toppling Bazoum, the junta in Niger, a former French colony, has leveraged anti-French sentiment among the population — asking the French ambassador and troops to leave — to shore up its support in resistance to regional and international pressure to…