Evacuation Of French, Italian Nationals From Niger Underway | Aviation


Main image, file photo of the Airbus A330 MRTT F-UJCG (Olivier Cabaret/Wiki), in the boxes, KC-767 and FR24.com screenshots (TheAviationist)

Aircraft from the French and Italian Air Force are involved in the repatriation of civilians from Niger.

French and Italian flights have started repatriation of nationals from Niamey, the capital town of Niger. On Jul. 26, 2023, a military takeover occurred in Niger, where presidential guard detained president Mohamed Bazoum, and presidential guard commander general Abdourahamane Tchiani proclaimed himself the leader of a new military junta.

Following the coup, thousands of protesters gathered outside the French embassy, with some trying to enter the building, according to the AFP news agency. They also set fire to the walls of the embassy compound. The coup d’etat prompted concerns that Niger, a former French colony, could pivot towards Russia: some of the protesters outside the French embassy chanted “Long live Russia”, “Long live Putin” and “Down with France”, AFP news agency reported.

As a consequence of the tense situation in the African state, France and Italy announced on Aug. 1, that they were arranging special flights to repatriate nationals from Niamey.

At least two French Air Force Airbus A330s, flying as FAF405 (F-UJCU) and FAF4053 (F- UJCH) could be tracked online via their Mode-S/ADS-B transponders, as they flew southbound from Istres to Niamey Diori Hamani International Airport.

Another A330 (F-UJCN) was scheduled to fly to Niger later on the same day, using again callsign FAF4053 (with arrival expected at 23.15UTC) but at 19.30UTC the aircraft is orbiting over the Mediterranean Sea west of Sardinia Island.

The first A330, FAF405 has departed at 19.19 UTC, and it is…

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