France’s ambassador to Niger ‘held hostage’ in embassy, says Macron

France’s ambassador in Niger is being held hostage at the French embassy by the military junta which has seized power in the West African nation, French President Emmanuel Macron said on Friday.

Food is being prevented from reaching the embassy, and Sylvain Itte and other diplomats are eating military rations, Mr Macron said.

Speaking to journalists during a visit to France’s Côte D’Or region, he added that the ambassador “cannot go out” and is a “persona non grata”.

“As we speak, we have an ambassador and diplomatic members which are being literally held hostage at the French embassy, and food is prevented from being delivered. They’re eating military rations,” Mr Macron said.

Niger’s democratically elected president, Mohamed Bazoum, was removed from power by his own guards on July 26.

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