France’s Ambassador to Niger apologizes on Twitter after controversy over Russian influence in country

A veiled woman in Ganguel village on January 11, 2023, in Ganguel, Sokoto, Niger (Africa). The Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Spanish Government made a trip to three African countries, where Spain announced that it would triple the funds. – David Zorrakino – Europa Press

MADRID, 11 February (EUROPA PRESS) –

Sylvain Itté, the French ambassador to Niger, apologized to the people of Nigeria after arguing with a user on Twitter about Russia’s influence in this African country and the declining French presence in other countries on the continent.

The discussion took place three days ago as part of the recent opening of a European photovoltaic plant partially financed by France in Gorou Banda, near the capital, Niamey.

One Twitter user told him that the country is “more respectful of sovereignty, preferring cooperation with Russia, and the diplomat’s “Sovereignty over what? We would be delighted if Russia announces its support for the European Union’s efforts and announces the construction of a power plant or provides water to the people of Nigeria.”

“Stop drinking water in Niamey because he’s European,” the diplomat added, commenting that exposed a controversy the ambassador was trying to resolve last Friday.

“My apologies to Nigerians if I may have offended them. My wish was to emphasize that Europeans are working with their Nigerian partners to serve the people of Niger. Of course, Niger’s water belongs to Nigerians. My words were deliberately twisted,” Itté said.

This friction comes at a time when several African countries are openly expressing their dissatisfaction with the French presence on their territory, in what they describe as a neo-colonial policy.

Financial is the best example of this situation. In May last year, the Malian junta announced the termination of all defense agreements with France, citing a “deep deterioration in military cooperation” and a violation of its sovereignty by French troops, as Bamako partly moves towards closer ties with Russia. The presence of mercenaries from the Wagner group — “military instructors”, according to Malian officials.

Source: Noti Merica

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