Friday , June 14 2024

US Troops to Complete Withdrawal from Niger by September 15

Niger and the United States have agreed to withdraw American troops from the West African nation, with the process already underway and set to be completed by September 15, according to a joint statement.

Niger’s ruling junta, which came to power in a coup last year, requested the departure of nearly 1,000 U.S. military personnel last month. Prior to the coup, Niger was a crucial ally in the U.S.’s efforts to combat insurgents in the Sahel region, where violence has led to thousands of deaths and displaced millions.

The agreement, reached after a five-day commission involving Niger’s defence ministry and the U.S. Department of Defense, ensures the protection of U.S. troops during the withdrawal and outlines procedures to facilitate their entry and exit during the process.

“The Ministry of Defense of Niger and the U.S. Department of Defense recall the common sacrifices of the Nigerien and American forces in the fight against terrorism and welcome the mutual efforts made in building up the Nigerien armed forces,” they said in a joint statement.

“The withdrawal of American forces from Niger in no way affects the pursuit of relations between the United States and Niger in the area of development. Also, Niger and the United States are committed to an ongoing diplomatic dialogue to define the future of their bilateral relations.”

Niger’s decision to request the removal of U.S. troops followed a mid-March meeting in Niamey, where senior U.S. officials expressed concerns over the anticipated arrival of Russian forces and reports of Iran seeking raw materials, including uranium, in the country.

Since then, Russian military personnel have arrived at an air base in Niger that is currently hosting U.S. troops.

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