Niger’s coup leaders have given the French ambassador 48 hours to leave the nation as bilateral ties proceed to deteriorate quickly.
The junta mentioned Sylvain Itte had refused to reply to an invite to meet Niger’s international minister.
France, a former colonial energy, mentioned the “putschists have no authority” to order such an expulsion.
Paris opposes July’s coup, saying that ousted President Mohammed Bazoum have to be returned to workplace.
Friday’s announcement was made by Niger’s international minister put in by the junta.
This follows a sequence of statements and demonstrations hostile in direction of France.
The French international ministry responded by saying that it had “taken note of the putschists”, the AFP information company reported.
“The putschists do not have the authority to make this request, the ambassador’s approval coming solely from the legitimate elected Nigerien authorities,” the ministry added.
Gen Abdourahamane Tchiani, Niger’s coup chief, final week pledged to return the West African nation to civilian rule inside three years.
He made the announcement after assembly mediators from the West African regional bloc Ecowas within the capital, Niamey.
Ecowas has threatened army motion to reverse final month’s overthrow of President Bazoum if talks fail.
The junta head mentioned that Niger didn’t need a warfare, however would defend itself in opposition to any international intervention.
“If an attack were to be undertaken against us, it will not be the walk in the park some people seem to think,” he warned.
Gen Tchiani additionally reiterated criticism of what he known as the “illegal and inhumane” sanctions imposed by Ecowas on the landlocked impoverished nation.
This has included reducing electrical energy, leading to blackouts in Niamey and different main cities, in addition to blocking essential imports.
Lorry drivers have been caught for weeks ready to usher in provides, forcing up meals costs.
Ecowas rejected the three-year timeframe after talks on Sunday.
“Ecowas is not accepting any prolonged transition again in the region. They just have to get ready to hand over in the shortest possible time,” Abdel-Fatau Musah, the bloc’s commissioner for political affairs, peace and safety, advised the BBC.
He mentioned the “military aspect is very much on”.
Regional efforts to reverse the coup have been backed by the US and France, which each have army bases in Niger. These bases are a part of efforts to deal with jihadist teams within the wider Sahel area.
The junta chief, who headed the presidential guard earlier than seizing energy on 26 July, mentioned army intervention may worsen the Islamist insurgencies linked to al-Qaeda and the Islamic State group.
The coup mirrors comparable latest takeovers in neighbouring Burkina Faso and Mali.
And the affect of Russia within the wider Sahel area can also be rising by way of its mercenary group Wagner.