US troops leave the Niger base in Niamey

US forces have completed their evacuation from their base in Niamey, Niger’s capital, and will leave Agadez in the north by the September 15 deadline set by the country’s military leadership, both countries confirmed Sunday.
Niger’s military authorities abandoned a military cooperation agreement with Washington in March after seizing power in a July 2023 coup.

The US has approximately 650 personnel in Niger as part of anti-jihadist operations in multiple Sahel states in West Africa, including a significant drone base near Agadez.

“The defence ministry of Niger and the US Defence Department announce that the withdrawal of American forces and equipment from the Niamey base 101 is now completed,” a joint statement from the two countries said.

A final airplane carrying US troops was scheduled to leave Niamey late Sunday.
The US deployment in Niger had been roughly 950 troops, and 766 soldiers had left since the military ordered their withdrawal, according to AFP, which was informed at a ceremony at the base attended by Niger’s army chief of staff Maman Sani Kiaou and US General Kenneth Ekman.

“American forces are now going to focus on quitting airbase 201 in Agadez,” the statement stated, assuring that the departure will be completed by September 15, as scheduled.

Niger has already ordered troops to leave France, its former colonial power and longtime security ally, and has deepened ties with Russia, which has sent instructors and equipment.

Following the breakdown of talks with military authorities, Germany’s defence ministry announced on Saturday that operations at its Niger airbase would terminate on August 31.
A similar change has occurred in neighboring Mali and Burkina Faso, also overseen by military authorities and subjected to terrorist violence.

 

AFP

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