The primary French highway convoy containing troops withdrawing from Niger following the overthrow of its president has arrived in neighboring Chad, the French army stated on Thursday.
The convoy “has arrived with none specific issues” within the Chadian capital N’Djamena after 9 days on the highway, French common employees spokesman colonel Pierre Gaudilliere instructed AFP.
The troops will from there depart by air again to France. Gaudilliere stated the highway journey had taken place in coordination with Nigerien forces.
Final week, France began the pullout from Niger following the overthrow in July of President Mohamed Bazoum, a key ally of Paris within the area, which threw French technique for the Sahel into disarray.
The French military faces repatriating its tools principally overland via Chad after which Cameroon — a distance of greater than 3,000 kilometers (round 1,860 miles) a few of which is understood to harbor jihadist teams.
Roughly 1,400 troopers have been primarily based within the capital Niamey and western Niger to battle fighters linked to the Islamic State group and Al-Qaeda, bringing with them fighter jets, drones, helicopters, and armored automobiles — in addition to the tools to assist them.
The primary convoy arrived in Chad after touring by highway in armored automobiles beneath Nigerien escort for the journey of over 1,600 kilometers (1,000 miles).
Chad’s capital N’Djamena is the location of France’s army headquarters for the entire Sahel area, with round 1,000 troops deployed there.
It’s the third time in 18 months that French troops have been despatched packing by a former African colony, dealing a extreme blow to France’s affect on the continent and status on the worldwide stage.
On Wednesday, French President Emmanuel Macron hosted Chad’s President Mahamat Idriss Deby for talks on the Elysee.
They mentioned regional points in addition to “the return to France of our army belongings,” stated the French presidency.