Preident Macron of France criticised his intelligence services for not warning his government of the coup in Niger that overthrew a pro-French government last week. France has been forced to evacuate hundreds of its citizens as a pro-Russian Niger military force took over. He said they did not see “anything coming”.
Now the DGSE (Directorate-General for External Security) has hit back: first the head of the DGSE Bernard Emié, a former diplomat, said that they had warned the government about the deteriorating siuation and the likelihood of the coup. In press leaks, the DGSE has gone even further saying that Macron was told by them specifically when the coup would happen and how it could be stopped but he refused to send troops to support the regime because it would appear too “colonialist”. Two DGSE “sources” spoke to Le Figaro, a centre-right newspaper and no friend of Macron. Although the warning was only a few hours before the coup, the DGSE argues that France has 1,500 troops in the country so something could have been done to secure vital points.
Macron and Emié have been at loggerheads since Emié did not get the post of Foreign Minister as he had expected last year.