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Niger releases detained French official after diplomatic efforts

By Ologeh Joseph Chibu

France’s Foreign Ministry announced on Thursday the successful release of Stephane Jullien, a French official who had been detained by Nigerien security forces.

Jullien, serving as an adviser to French nationals in Niger, had been apprehended by Nigerien security forces on September 8, as confirmed by the French Foreign Ministry.

Niger has been at loggerheads with its former colonial powers after a radical coup upstaged French stooge

Although the ministry had urged for his immediate release earlier in the week, it did not provide specific details regarding the circumstances of his arrest.

Jullien holds an elected position, representing French expatriates and collaborating closely with the country’s embassies and consulates.

According to information on the Foreign Ministry’s website, there are a total of 442 such advisers worldwide. They are tasked with assisting French expatriates in matters related to employment, education, social security, and various other issues, serving six-year terms.

In a separate development, Niger’s ruling junta recently ordered the expulsion of France’s ambassador, further straining the already fragile relations between France and its former colony. Paris had firmly contested the authority of the military officers who seized control in Niamey in late July to expel the French ambassador.

In response to the coup, France had declared an end to military cooperation and the cessation of all development aid to Niger. However, it has resisted the calls from the coup leaders to withdraw the 1,500 French troops currently stationed in Niger, asserting its continued support for the democratically elected President Mohamed Bazoum, who remains in captivity and is recognized as the legitimate leader of the country by France.

With reports from CNN

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