US Prepares To Withdraw Troops From Chad And Niger - Eastern Mirror
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US prepares to withdraw troops from Chad and Niger

6091
By IANS Updated: Apr 26, 2024 9:36 am
US prepares to withdraw troops from Chad and Niger
US prepares to withdraw troops from Chad and Niger (IANS)

WASHINGTON — The US is preparing to negotiate with the military leadership in Niger about the “organized and responsible withdrawal” of its troops from the country.

More than 1,000 US soldiers are stationed there, according to data from last year.

The US State Department has announced that talks on a possible withdrawal would begin this week and next week in the capital Niamey.

Discussions with the military junta, ongoing since July 2023, have failed to settle on a form of security cooperation that can meet the needs and concerns of both sides, the State Department said in a statement on Wednesday.

Niger was a hub for the US military’s counter-terrorism operations in the Sahel region, but Washington’s withdrawal comes in response to a demand by the military leadership which seized power in July 2023.

The junta cancelled a military cooperation agreement with the US in March, and spokesman Amadou Abdramane justified the termination with reference to “condescending behaviour” and an alleged threat of reprisals by a US delegation.

US media have already reported on the withdrawal plans and on Thursday, the New York Times said the Pentagon will also withdraw dozens of US special forces from neighbouring Chad in the days ahead.

Before the military took power, Niger was seen as a close ally in the fight against terrorism and illegal migration to Europe and a last democratic partner to the EU and US in the region.

The transition triggered a serious diplomatic crisis in the region, and neighbouring Mali and Burkina Faso have also pivoted away from the West towards Russia. Moscow sent Niger an air defence system and 100 military trainers at the start of the month.

6091
By IANS Updated: Apr 26, 2024 9:36:23 am
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