Niger: French Nationals Captured During Protest Freed
Two French nationals were liberated in Niamey, Niger after being captured and held by angry residents who were taking part in the violent protests.
Protesters are angry about the excessive security measures around foreign embassies.
Speaking to RFI yesterday just after the two were captured, Hassaouni Massaoudou, the Interior Minister of Niger said “They are not terrorists, they are not AQIM [Al-Qaeda of the Islamic Maghreb], they are not armed people who would try to threaten the lives of the captured French nationals”.
The release of the two was confirmed today.
“We let them go, the first one yesterday and the second one during the night. They left here healthy and safe” one of the residents of Goudel said to the French press agency.
Goudel is one of the neighbourhoods where protesters were furious about the new security measures in place, following terrorist attacks that occurred at the end of May in northern Niger.
“One of the French liberated yesterday towards the end of the afternoon. He had a broken arm and has to return to France for medical care” said a diplomatic source.
The second one “was liberated during the night after negotiations with authorities who quickly took control of the situation” added another diplomatic source.
Residents are protesting the rising costs of transpotation that have “doubled” since the “unnecessary and humiliating security measures” have been imposed. “We are asking authorities to ease the security barriers so we can circulate without problems” said one protester.