The evacuation of European citizens in Niger was successful as the first group of British nationals boarded a French flight bound for Paris, said the British Foreign Office. The office only divulged the information that a “very small number” of Britons remained in Niger.
The Foreign Office said, “The UK’s ambassador and a core team remain in Niger to support the very small number of British nationals who are still there. We are grateful to the French for their help in this evacuation.”
Citizens of France and Italy had already started the process of evacuation.
The first batch of British evacuees consisted of those who had requested to leave the West African nation, and were able to arrange their way to the airport in time.
Before the evacuation process the UK government had notified British citizens to register the information about where they were and to stay indoors. According to the reported information, only 100 Britons are believed to be staying in Niger.
France has been evacuating both its citizens and Europeans and has asked German nationals to board its flights. The Spanish government is also making arrangements for evacuation of its people numbering around 70.
In the morning of Wednesday, European nationals numbering 262 arrived in Paris from Niger, while a flight organized by Italy transported 87 people from Niger to the capital Rome. The Italian flight had 36 Italians, 21 Americans and one Briton onboard, said British news agency Reuters.
UK Secretary of State for Foreign James Cleverly is on Africa’s tour and is currently on Nigeria visit. On Wednesday, he said, “The UK government’s priority remains the safety of British nationals and helping them get out of the country to safety.”
People supporting the military junta in Niger have protested against France, the nation’s former colonial ruler, and attacked the French embassy.
Last week on Wednesday, the military had ousted President Mohamed Bazoum, who was Niger’s first democratically elected leader since its independence in 1960.