All U.S. Troops Set to Withdraw From Niger Following Agreement

At a joint ceremony on Sunday, the United States is scheduled to finish withdrawing its personnel and equipment from an air base in Niamey, the capital of the West African country Niger.

The United States is planning to depart a drone base in Niger in August.

The troops are being pulled out on September 15th, according to the junta’s timeline. 

The majority of American soldiers stationed in Niger will be relocated to European bases. Small groups of American troops had been sent to other nations in West Africa.

The United States is not demolishing the infrastructure and equipment that is being left behind at its sites in Niger.

When asked about the movement of small teams of 10–20 U.S. personnel, including special operations forces, to other West African nations, Air Force Maj. Gen. Kenneth Ekman confirmed the news in an interview and added that Europe would receive the lion’s share of the forces, at least in the beginning.

According to Ekman and other senior U.S. military officials, some West African countries are interested in collaborating with America and might be receptive to a more significant American presence in their countries. Though he omitted specifics, other American officials have cited Ghana and the Ivory Coast as instances.

From the U.S. embassy in Niamey, Ekman said that although more extensive equipment will be removed, obsolete temporary structures and trucks will be left behind. To illustrate his point, he mentioned that 18 generators, each weighing 1,800 kilograms (4,000 pounds) and valued at over $1 million, will be removed from Agadez.

Following the mutiny that deposed Niger’s democratically elected president in July, the country’s governing junta expelled U.S. military from Niger. The junta sought security help from the Russian mercenary outfit Wagner and ordered the withdrawal of French soldiers as well.

In October, the military takeover was formally recognized as a coup in Washington, which led to the implementation of U.S. regulations that limit military assistance and aid.