Niger Coup: Here are the France-Niger military agreements the junta has cancelled

The Niger coup makers have revoked five security and defence agreements with France that were made under the leadership of the unseated President Mohamed Bazoum between 1977 and 2020.

In addition, the new military government declared the end of the functions of Niger’s ambassadors to France, the United States, Togo and Nigeria.

Since the 1970s, Niger and its former colonial ruler have maintained strong economic, legal and defence ties. According to France’s Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs, Niger is one of the 19 priority countries for French development assistance.

The revoked agreements had been reached mainly to build Niger’s expertise in combating terrorism at a time when jihadist attacks were on the rise in the Sahel region of Africa.

The decision to annul the agreement was announced in a televised communique by the junta’s spokesperson, Colonel Major Amadou Abdramane on August 3, 2023. According to the spokesperson, the decision was due to France’s casual attitude and reaction to the internal situation in Niger.

In this report, Fact-Check Ghana presents a timeline of France’s military deals with Niger that have been scrapped by the military junta.


On February 19, 1977, the France and Niger armies reached a technical military agreement. This agreement forms part of the agreements that the National Council for the Safekeeping of the Homeland (CNSP) denounced.


In 2013, the French forces alongside troops from Mali, Niger and Burkina Faso carried out a counterterrorist operation from 2013 to 2022 called Operation Serval. The operation aimed to stamp out jihadist activity in the Sahel region specifically Mali. However, the jihadists moved into the Niger area.

As such, the France and Niger armies entered into two agreements which are:

  1. The agreement of May 25, 2013, on the legal regime for the intervention of French military personnel in Niger to ensure security in the Sahel.
  2.  The agreement of July 19, 2013, on the status of French military personnel present in Niger as part of the French intervention for security in the Sahel.


France in 2014 transformed Operation Serval into a broader anti-jihadist operation named Operation Barkhane. The operation was not only aimed at battling groups allied to the Islamic State and Al Qaeda. It was also to train personnel of the G5 Sahel Joint Force and Niger’s armed forces as the activities of jihadist groups spread to the country.

Subsequently, France moved its soldiers from Mali and stationed them in Niger following the Mali coup in 2021. The operation officially ended in 2022.


France and Niger came to another technical military agreement on January 2, 2015, relating to the presence and activities of the inter-French Detachment and the territories of the Republic of Niger.


On April 28, 2020, the two countries reached another accord concerning the agreement on March 25, 2013, and July 19 of the same year. This agreement has also been denounced by the military junta.

On Friday, August 25, the junta ordered the French Ambassador, Sylvain Itte, to leave the country within a 48-hour ultimatum as part of moves to end bilateral relations with France. In response, French President Emmanuel Macron declared that the ambassador would remain at post despite the deadline and dismissed the order. He also emphasized that France still has engagements with President Mohamed Bazoum and does not recognise the junta as a government.

The coup has subsequently been marked by a series of events comprising sanctions and the discontinuation of aid by Niger’s Western and Regional allies.

In 2019 alone, French exports to Niger stood at € 127 million. The country also received support from France in improving food security, strengthening governance for peace and supporting economic development among other things. Between 201o and 2019 Niger received €590 million in Agence Française de développement (AFD, French Development Agency). French development aid to Niger was also pegged at 120 million euros in 2022. France has however suspended all aid and financial support to Niger with immediate effect amid demands to reinstate President Mohamed Bazoum as president.

Moreover, there is a blockade of trucks of food, industrial materials and humanitarian aid at Niger’s borders as a result of sanctions imposed on the country by the West Africa Regional bloc aimed at exerting pressure on the junta to return the country to constitutional rule. Other sanctions imposed by the West Africa Regional Bloc are the ban on commercial flights, halt of financial transactions and freeze of national assets.

Niger’s Ministry of Defence also announced on Tuesday, August 29 that 17 soldiers from the country were killed and 20 others were injured in an attack by armed groups near Niger’s border with Mali. The attack is suspected to be by insurgency groups that have plagued the borders of Niger, Mali and Burkina Faso.

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