India urges citizens to exit violence-affected Niger via road as airspace shuts.

Amidst the aftermath of a military coup that occurred in Niger a month ago, where widespread protests and violence have erupted, approximately 250 Indian nationals find themselves residing in this tumultuous West African country.

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In response to the escalating violence triggered by the military coup that unfolded last month, the Indian government has issued advisories for Indians residing in Niger to consider leaving the nation. Official figures reveal that around 250 Indians are currently residing in Niger, where the repercussions of the coup have led to a surge in protests and violence. This situation has prompted several European countries to evacuate their citizens from the nation that is currently under the governance of a military junta.

The Ministry of External Affairs has communicated that individuals contemplating travel to Niger should postpone their plans until the situation stabilizes. Arindam Bagchi, the spokesperson for the Ministry of External Affairs, has stated that the Indian government is vigilantly observing the unfolding events in Niger.

In light of the prevailing situation, Indian nationals whose presence is not essential are advised to leave the country as soon as possible,” Arindam Bagchi mentioned during a press briefing held on Friday. He also emphasized that due to the closure of airspace, individuals must exercise caution when departing the country through land borders. He urged all Indian citizens in Niger to register themselves with the Indian embassy.

Moreover, Bagchi highlighted the continuous coordination between the embassy in Niger’s capital and the Indian citizens residing there. He assured that necessary assistance is being provided to facilitate their departure from the country. To further extend help, the embassy has also shared an emergency contact number (+227 9975 9975) for anyone requiring assistance.

Addressing concerns about the safety of Indian citizens in Niger, Bagchi assured, “We have been told that the Indians (there) are safe.”

The ongoing situation in Niger has been characterized by violence and upheaval since General Abdourahmane Tchiani seized power on July 26, toppling and detaining President Mohamed Bazoum—an important Western ally in the fight against Islamist militancy in West Africa. Backed by influential army generals, the leader of the Presidential Guard proclaimed himself as the “president of the National Council for the Safeguard of the Homeland” on national television.

This military takeover has been met with condemnation from the United Nations, European Union, and the African Union. Niger joins the ranks of other African nations, including Mali, Guinea, Chad, and Burkina Faso, that have experienced coups in recent years. Notably, this marks the fourth coup in Niger since its independence in 1960.

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