The military junta in Niger ends cooperation with the United States and soldiers are forced to leave

The military junta in Niger ends cooperation with the United States and soldiers are forced to leave

Niger's military junta immediately ended military cooperation with the United States on Saturday. This was announced by Colonel Amadou Abdel Rahman National TV. According to Abderrahmane, the agreement between Niger and the United States – signed in 2012 – was imposed on his country and thus violated “constitutional and democratic rules.” He described the cooperation as “unfair in content” and not in the interest of the Nigerian people. The Americans must now leave Niger.

The decision comes after a visit from A high-level American delegation To Niger earlier this week. That visit turned out to be painful. The Americans waited in vain for three days for a meeting with the head of the military junta, Abderrahmane Tiani. Abdel Rahman said during the televised speech that the American delegation did not follow diplomatic protocol and that Niger was not informed of the delegation’s composition and agenda.

Military bases

The United States currently has two military bases in Niger, including a drone base. Since 2018, the US military has used it to target Islamic State and Jamaat Nusrat al-Islam Muslim fighters. The latter is a fairly loose conglomeration of jihadist groups.

Niger was once an important partner of the United States in the Sahel region, but the relationship between the two countries has deteriorated sharply since the military junta seized power last July – what the United States, among other countries, described as a coup. The United States had a long-term presence of about 1,100 troops in Niger, but according to US President Joe Biden, there were still about 650 troops remaining last December. The rest had already returned to the United States.

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The end of cooperation with the United States follows the previous expulsion of French and other European forces from the African country. Military rulers in neighboring Burkina Faso and Mali have done the same in recent years, turning to Russia for support. Abdel Rahman denied on Saturday that Niger was finalizing an agreement with Russia, according to what Reuters reported.

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