French President Emmanuel Macron reported that his country's ambassador to Niger and members of the diplomatic corps were kidnapped by the military junta that took power on July 26.
The military, which ousted President Mohamed Bazoum, ordered the expulsion of the French ambassador in late August, after Paris refused to comply with an ultimatum demanding his departure. France has maintained a firm stance on the issue and argues that the coup plotters have no authority to make the request for the departure of the French representative.
"In Niger, as I speak to you, we have an ambassador and diplomatic members who are literally being held hostage in the French embassy," Macron said in remarks collected by Le Parisien during a trip to Semur-en-Auxois.
In regards to the ambassador’s liberation, Macron said he is holding talks with the ousted president to make a decision. "I will do what we agreed with President Bazoum because he is the legitimate authority and I talk to him every day," Macron said.