European militaries evacuate foreign nationals from Niger as regional tensions rise after coup

European militaries evacuate foreign nationals from Niger as regional tensions rise after coup
# 02 August 2023 19:40 (UTC +04:00)

Foreign nationals lined up outside an airport in Niger’s capital on Wednesday morning to wait for a French military evacuation flight as a regional bloc continued talks on how to respond to the military coup that took place last week, APA reports citing AP News.

France, Italy and Spain all announced evacuations of their citizens and other Europeans in the capital, Niamey, following concerns they could become trapped after soldiers detained President Mohamed Bazoum and seized power.

The Biden administration has yet to announce any decision on evacuation for American forces, diplomats, aid workers and other U.S. citizens in Niger, an important counter-terror base for the United States in the Sahel. Some Americans, however, have left with the help of the Europeans.

France’s first two flights evacuated more than 350 French nationals, as well as people from Niger and at least 10 other countries, the French Foreign Ministry said. The Paris airport authority said two more evacuation flights are scheduled to land Wednesday afternoon.

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THE OPERATION IS BEING PERFORMED