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India Issues Advisory Amidst Soaring Tensions: Leave Niger Quickly

NEW DELHI: India issued a warning to its citizens in Niger on Friday to leave the west African nation as soon as possible due to rising tensions following the military junta’s removal of the country’s democratically elected president.

Indian citizens should depart the country as quickly as possible if their presence is not required, according to Arindam Bagchi, a spokesperson for the external affairs ministry.

On July 30, in Niamey, the nation of Niger’s capital, pro-junta protesters gathered in front of the French embassy and were about to be dispersed by police forces (REUTERS FILE).  

250 Indian nationals are reportedly present in Niger, with the majority of them residing in the nation’s capital, Niamey. After Gen. Abdourahamane Tchiani, the self-declared new head of state, ignored calls from the West and ECOWAS for the release of ousted President Mohamed Bazoum, tensions have risen.

Arindam Bagchi, a spokesperson for the external affairs ministry, recommended Indian nationals whose presence is not necessary to leave the country as soon as feasible in light of the current scenario.

He read from an advisory, saying, “Those who may be planning travel to Niger in the coming days are also similarly advised to reconsider their travel plans until the situation normalises.”

The majority of Indian residents of Niamey work in the retail, hospitality, and service industries. Airtel Cellular Services is one of the Indian companies that has financial involvement in Niger. Bagchi claimed that the Indian embassy in Niamey maintains regular communication with members of the Indian community who are secure.

Indians should be aware that the airspace is currently closed and that the Indian government is actively following events in Niger, according to the advice. The statement said, “Utmost care may be taken to ensure safety and security when departing over a land border.

The guidance also advised Indian nationals to “do so expeditiously” if they had not already registered with the Indian embassy. According to Bagchi, the embassy is offering every support feasible to make it easier for Indian citizens to leave and enter.  

For assistance, Indians can call the embassy in Niamey at +227 9975 9975.

Following the July 26 coup, Niger has seen huge demonstrations and instability, and Bazoum is still under house arrest in a challenging situation. On August 10, the military coup established a new administration. Citizens of several European nations have been removed from Niger.

Tchiani has rejected ECOWAS’s ultimatum that the former government must be reinstated within a week or face military involvement, stating that he will not “give in to any threats, wherever they come from.”

After four coup attempts since gaining independence from France in 1960, Bazoum’s victory in the 2021 election marked the first peaceful transfer of power in Niger.

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