Indian nationals in Niger are safe, says MEA
Niger has witnessed wide-spread protests following last week's coup
India is closely monitoring the developments in Niger and around 250 Indians residing in the West African country are safe, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said on Thursday (August 3, 2023).
Niger has witnessed wide-spread protests following last week's coup. On July 26, 2023, the military junta announced that it had captured democratically-elected President Mohamed Bazoum and removed his government from power. Media reports quoted them citing national security and corruption as the justication for their action.
Responding to a question at the weekly media briefing, MEA Spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said India was closely monitoring the situation in Niger. The Indian Embassy was in close contact with members of the Indian community in the country, he added. "We are in touch with the Indian nationals and they appear to be safe," Bagchi said.
Referring to the flights organised by France and the European Union, he said those evacuated from Niger included about 10 to 15 Indian nationals as well. These persons had taken up the offer by France to accommodate them on the flight, Bagchi added. The Indian nationals who had left the country included businessmen who were there on temporary visas, he added.
"The situation is said to be normal now," he said. Latest reports say that Niger's new military-ruled government has announced the reopening of its borders with Libya, Mali, Chad, Algeria and Burkina Faso.
French Ambassador to India Emmanuel Lenain had earlier said French flights evacuated nationals from many other countries, including Indian citizens from Niger.
"Following the military coup in #Niger, France has evacuated 992 people from the country through several rotation flights over the past two days," Lenain tweeted. "In addition to 560 French citizens, the flights evacuated nationals from many other countries, including Indian citizens," he said.