First planes carrying evacuees from Niger land in Paris and Rome | Inquirer News

First planes carrying evacuees from Niger land in Paris and Rome

/ 03:33 PM August 02, 2023

262 evacuees from Niger lands in Paris

The French nationals and other European citizens who have been evacuated from Niger, days after a junta seized power in the West African country, react as they arrive at the Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport in Roissy, near Paris, France, August 2, 2023. REUTERS

PARIS — The first military planes carrying mostly European nationals evacuated from Niger landed in Paris and Rome on Wednesday, with France and other countries expected to fly more of their citizens out of the West African country after last week’s coup.

A military junta overthrew Niger’s democratically elected President Mohamed Bazoum and his government on July 26 in the seventh military takeover in less than three years in West and Central Africa.


With the risk of conflict escalating, France, the former colonial power, Italy and Spain said they would evacuate citizens by air.


The first French flight left Niger on Tuesday evening and landed in Paris early on Wednesday with 262 people on board, according to Reuters journalists there.

“Things could have turned ugly but it still is nice to be back here,” a French evacuee who gave his name as Charles told Reuters TV.

“We will see how things evolve over there in the coming days and weeks. For us, who care about it quite a lot, we will follow this closely,” he said.

An Italian military plane carrying 87 evacuees from Niger arrived in Rome early on Wednesday, according to Reuters journalists at the airport.

Some 36 Italians, as well as 21 U.S. citizens, four Bulgarians, two Austrians and one citizen each from Britain, Niger, Hungary, Senegal, and Nigeria were on the plane, as well as military personnel.

France is expected to operate more evacuation flights on Wednesday.


The recent coups in the region have come amid a wave of vitriol aimed at former colonial power France that resulted in its troops having to withdraw from Mali and Burkina Faso this year and last.

Many of those soldiers are stationed in Niger.

The United States, Germany, and Italy also have troops in Niger on counter-insurgency and training missions. There has been no announcement of troops being evacuated.

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Niger will face sanctions as democracy falls apart, adding woes to more than 25 million people

France says it will evacuate its citizens from Niger very soon

First posted 12:01 pm

TAGS: Evacuation, France, Niger

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