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US military kicked out of Niger

Niger’s junta has revoked a security agreement with the American military shortly after a large US delegation visited the country. Junta officials said they were angered by the “condescending attitude” of the American diplomats, who wanted to convince Niger not to deepen ties with Russia and Iran. The United States has some 1,000 troops in Niger and a high-cost drone base on the outskirts of the northern city of Agadez. It has used the base to surveil jihadist insurgents – linked to al-Qaeda and the so-called Islamic State – but has not accompanied Nigerien forces on operations targeting militants. There is no public data showing what the base has achieved, and Nigeriens have questioned its effectiveness. The junta, which seized power in July 2023, said the US military presence is also illegal because it was agreed by a prior administration without consultations with Niger’s parliament. The Pentagon said it remains in contact with Nigerien officials and is seeking a “pathway forward”. The junta’s decision is part of a broader pushback against Western militarisation in the Sahel region. French troops, for example, were told to leave Niger last year having previously been booted out of military-ruled Burkina Faso and Mali, which are also suffering from destabilising jihadist insurgencies. For more context on Niger’s coup and a look at the humanitarian fallout check out our story from last year.

A demonstration in support of Niger’s military junta takes place on 6 August 2023 at Kountché stadium in Niamey. Regional countries have threatened a military intervention if the generals do not stand down.

‘Collective punishment’: Sanctions worsen humanitarian conditions in post-coup Niger

Prices are soaring, trade is curbed, and aid groups can’t import supplies.

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