NIAMEY *Agencies*: Numerous demonstrators converged outside the French military installation in Niamey, the capital of Niger, once again demanding the withdrawal of French troops from the nation. The protest was prompted by calls issued by various civic groups that opposed the military presence of the former colonial power in the region.
Leading up to the weekend rally, a series of smaller protests had been relatively peaceful and well-organized, as reported by Al Jazeera. However, on Saturday, some activists were observed breaking through barriers established by security forces, police, and the military, attempting to gain access to the base, which accommodates approximately 1,500 soldiers.
Banners displayed by the protesters in Niamey bore the message, “French army, leave our country.”
Despite warnings from the French military that they would respond if their military and diplomatic facilities were targeted amidst the renewed tensions, the demonstrators remained resolute.
“We are determined to rid our country of all foreign military bases,” expressed one protester to Al Jazeera. “We do not want them here. For over 13 years, terrorism has plagued our land, and they have shown little commitment to combatting it,” he emphasized.