EU envoy barred from French embassy in Niger
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European Union has protested strongly after its ambassador to Niger, Salvador Pinto da França, was prevented from accessing the French embassy in the capital, Niamey.

EU spokesperson Nabila Massrali denounced and regretted the obstacles to freedom of movement suffered by the European ambassador, stationed in Niamey, while he was going to the French embassy Tuesday 5 September.

In accordance with the Vienna Convention of 1961, the ambassador of the European Union has been duly accredited, and he must, therefore, be able to carry out his mission within the framework of the convention, she explained.

After the military junta arrested and expelled French Ambassador Sylvain Itté, the embassy has been blockaded, but he refuses to leave.

According to the junta, the order was issued in retaliation for Paris refusing to recognise coup leader Gen Abdourahmane Tchiani and insisting on only recognising ousted President Mohamed Bazoum as legitimate leader of Niger.

The EU called the expulsion order a “new provocation that can in no way help to resolve the current crisis diplomatically”.