The organization has sabotaged Niger’s full participation in international gatherings, Nigerien coup leaders have claimed, according to media reports.
Niger’s military government has ordered the resident United Nations coordinator in the country, Louise Aubin, to leave Niamey within 72 hours. The expulsion, announced in a statement on Tuesday, is in response to the authorities’ claims that the global organization was interfering in Niger’s diplomatic affairs, in particular by preventing it from attending international gatherings.
The Nigerien foreign ministry accused the UN of using “underhanded maneuvers” at the behest of France to prevent the West African country from fully participating in the meetings of the 78th Session of the UN General Assembly in New York last month.
“This sponsored sabotage continued in Vienna on the occasion of the IAEA [International Atomic Energy Agency] General Conference from September 25 to 29, 2023, in Vienna and at the 4th Extraordinary Congress of the Universal Postal Union (UPU) from October 1 to 5, 2023, in Riyadh (Kingdom of Saudi Arabia),” the ministry stated.
As a result, the government has decided to terminate the mandate of Aubin, the ministry said, arguing that the actions of the UN Secretary-General were intended to harm Niger and its people.
The diplomat must “take all necessary measures to leave Niamey” within three days, the statement said.
Tensions between Niger and its foreign partners and regional allies have been high since the new authorities took control in July, following the coup that ousted pro-Western President Mohamed Bazoum.
The coup leaders have previously suspended military cooperation agreements with France and expelled the French ambassador. Paris began withdrawing some 1,500 troops from Niger this week at the demand of the military rulers, whose authority the French government has repeatedly challenged.
The US government, which has around 1,000 soldiers stationed in the former French colony, only officially declared the July takeover by Niger’s new military leadership a “coup d’état” on Tuesday.
Washington also announced that it was suspending “most” of its assistance to the African country. Earlier in August, the US halted around $200 million in foreign aid to Niger. The State Department announced on Tuesday that these programs, as well as the Niger Regional Transportation Compact project worth $302 million and other activities, would be suspended until further notice.