Niger’s military rulers have said a first convoy of French troops will on Tuesday begin preparations to leave the Sahel country, after the leaders of a coup ordered them out. “Operations for the departure of the first convoy escorted by our defence and security forces will begin tomorrow,” said a statement read on state television Monday. The withdrawal of some 1,400 French troops had been demanded by Niger’s ruling generals shortly after they seized power at the end of July. After some meetings and “exchanges between our authorities and the French side, a timetable for the withdrawal of their troops has been determined with mutual agreement”, the statement said. Over the weekend, there were several convoys between bases in the northwest where 400 troops are deployed, as well as in the capital Niamey, Nigerien and French security sources said. At least two convoys have since been permitted to re-supply the Ouallam and Tabarey-Barey bases and several French soldiers have been considered priorities to be moved to Niamey. The French troops have been living with uncertainty since the new regime began demanding their departure, with irregular supplies of food and repeated anti-French demonstrations outside the Niamey base.