No, Niger has not asked U.S., German, and Nigerian ambassadors to leave country

By: Toibah Kirmani
August 31 2023

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No, Niger has not asked U.S., German, and Nigerian ambassadors to leave country


The Verdict False

Only the ambassador of France has been asked to leave the country. The German, U.S., and Nigerian ambassadors are still present in Niger

Claim ID 270b8657

What's the claim?

Niger's military junta, which assumed control through a coup on July 26, 2023, announced on Friday that the French ambassador, Sylvain Itte, has been expelled, giving him 48 hours to leave the country. Following this development, news outlets reported that ambassadors of Germany, the United States, and Nigeria have also been asked to leave. The archive can be found here.

However, this claim is false. 

Screengrab of news articles with the claim (Source: South China Morning Post, WION)

What we found

This report seems to have come from Agence France-Presse (AFP), as the news outlet has been referenced widely by other publications. However, on August 26, AFP issued a clarification on its official X (formerly Twitter) account that information that an order for the German, Nigerian, and U.S. ambassadors to leave Niger was based on statements that have since been declared inauthentic by authorities.

Screengrab of AFP's clarification (Source: X/AFP)

On August 26, Reuters reported that a spokesperson from the U.S. State Department reported that Niger's Foreign Ministry had communicated to the U.S. government that the images of letters circulating online urging specific American diplomatic personnel to leave were not authorized by the ministry. ​​"No such request has been made to the U.S. government," Reuters reported a U.S. State Department official as saying.

Nigeria, a neighboring country of Niger that has spoken against the coup, clarified on Sunday through its Ministry of Foreign Affairs that Nigeria's Ambassador to Niger, Mohammed Sani Usman, was not expelled from the country, despite such rumors. 

While the German government has released no official statement, we tried to contact the German embassy in Niamey, Niger, for clarification. We will update the check once they reply. However, a source in the junta and a security source from Niger told Reuters on August 26 that only the French ambassador had been asked to leave.

Only the French ambassador to Niger has been asked to leave the country officially. This decision was made after the French ambassador in Niamey declined an invitation from the minister for a meeting on Friday and other actions that Niger sees as against its interests, as reported by France 24. However, the ambassador has remained in Niger despite being given a 48-hour deadline.

The verdict

Only the French ambassador has been officially asked to leave Niger. The statements regarding the expulsion of the German, U.S., and Nigerian ambassadors are not authentic, as clarified by official statements. Therefore, we have marked this claim as false.

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Global Fact-Checks Completed

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