July 18, 2024
US to complete troop withdrawal from Niamey airport base this weekend

US to complete troop withdrawal from Niamey airport base this weekend

The United States will complete the withdrawal of its troops from the Niamey airport base in Niger this weekend, according to a statement from Major General Kenneth Ekman, Director of Strategy, Engagement, and Programs for the United States Africa Command, as reported by the Associated Press.

“A ceremony will be held on Sunday to mark the completion of the troop withdrawal from the Niamey airport base, after which the final 100 soldiers will depart, and the C-17 transport aircraft will take off,” said General Ekman.

Following this, the withdrawal from the critical drone base in Agadez will occur in August. This base has been pivotal for counterterrorism operations in the Sahel region.

General Ekman noted that the US will specifically remove 18 generators from the Agadez base, each valued at over one million dollars.

“Several small groups of 10 to 20 American soldiers, including Army Special Forces, have already been redeployed to other countries in West Africa.

However, the majority of the force will be transferred, at least initially, to Europe,” he added.

The decision to withdraw US soldiers was finalized in May following discussions between Nigerien and American defense representatives in Niamey.

In mid-March, Niger had terminated its cooperation agreement with the United States, requesting a withdrawal plan for the 1,000 American soldiers stationed in the country.

The strategic redeployment signifies a significant shift in the US military presence in West Africa and underscores the changing geopolitical landscape in the region.

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