Algeria has rejected French requests to use its airspace for military operations in Niger. Photos/Illustrations
ALGIERS – Algeria rejected a French request to fly over its airspace for a military operation in Niger, where President Mohamed Bazoum was ousted in a military coup in late July. Once the reports of several media, citing state radio in the North African country.
Algeria’s national radio reportedly said late on Monday that it had learned from sources that Paris was planning an attack on Niamey’s new military rulers if they did not release Bazoum, who had been in detention since July 26.
“Faced with Algeria’s refusal, France turned to Morocco, seeking permission to allow its military aircraft to pass through its airspace,” state radio said, according to Nova News Agency, as quoted by Russia Today, Wednesday (23/8/2023).
France, which has about 1,500 troops in its former colony and has been conducting operations in the Sahel region against terrorist insurgencies, has been accused by Niger coup leaders of planning to intervene militarily to restore the ousted president to power.
The French Foreign Ministry has denied any intention of armed intervention in the West African country, but has repeatedly stated that it supports the efforts of the West African regional bloc ECOWAS, which has threatened to use force to quash the coup.
“The joint French defense staff denied making the request to fly over Algerian territory,” a source in the French military told Reuters.
ECOWAS said on Friday that it had decided on a date for sending troops to Niger if diplomatic efforts at the restoration of the Bazoum proved unsuccessful.
Benin, Ivory Coast and Nigeria have all expressed willingness to contribute troops to the bloc’s mission to restore democratic order to Niger.