French and other European citizens were evacuated from Niger in the first planes to land in Paris, a week after a coup replaced President Mohamend Bazounm.

The first planes carrying French and other European citizens evacuated from Niger landed in Paris Wednesday, a week after a coup toppled one of the last pro-Western leaders in the jihadist-plagued Sahel.

President Mohamed Bazoum was detained by his presidential guard in a third coup in three years in the Sahel, following putsches in neighboring Mali and Burkina Faso, also former French colonies.

West African leaders have threatened to use force to reinstate the democratically elected Bazoum and slapped financial sanctions on the junta.

The military chiefs of nations in the key regional bloc ECOWAS will meet in the Nigerian capital Abuja from Wednesday to Friday to discuss the overthrow.

After anti-French protests unleashed by the coup, Paris on Tuesday said it would withdraw its nationals from the capital Niamey.

By early Wednesday, nearly 500 people had landed in Paris, including mostly French citizens but also Portuguese, Belgians, Nigerians, Ethiopians, and Lebanese evacuees.

Italian authorities also said they had evacuated around 100 foreigners living in Niger, who arrived in Rome early Wednesday, with ANSA radio reporting they included 36 Italians and 21 Americans.

Germany has urged its citizens to leave, but the United States, which has 1,100 troops stationed in Niger, has opted not to evacuate Americans for now.

Miroslava Salazar with AFP