The French Ministry of Foreign Affairs “formally” advised against all travel to Niger, “with the exception of the capital Niamey which is not recommended unless there is an imperative reason.”“Given the recurrent presence of jihadist fighters over a large portion of the territory, and the threats against Western interests and nationals, visitors are formally advised not to travel throughout Niger, with the exception of Niamey, where it is not recommended unless there is an imperative reason,” the Quai d’Orsay website said.
This decision follows the deadly attack on August 9 that killed six French and two Nigeriens in the giraffe reserve near Kouré, a commune located 60 km east of Niamey.
“It is an unfair measure, a double punishment for the country,” journalist and writer Seidik Abba tweeted.
According to his colleague Matteo Maillard, “with such a map (entirely coloured red), French diplomacy will make the work of humanitarians, researchers and journalists in the field even more difficult.
The victims of the 9 August attack were all humanitarians, some of whom worked for the NGO Acted.
“It is the symbol of a victory for terror and its instigators…” Mali correspondent for the French newspaper Le Monde Afrique concluded.