US troop pullout from Niger to end by September 15: statement

The US troop withdrawal from Niger, requested by the West African nation’s military rulers, has commenced and will conclude by September 15, according to a joint statement released on Sunday.

Both parties announced a disengagement agreement, leading to the departure of US forces previously deployed for anti-jihadist operations.

The agreement was reached after several days of discussions between the US Department of Defense delegation and Nigerien officials in Niamey.

Niger’s military took power in a July 2023 coup and subsequently terminated a military cooperation agreement with Washington in March.

The United States currently has about 650 soldiers stationed in Niger, including those at a significant drone base near Agadez in the north.

This pullout follows the earlier withdrawal of French troops, with Niger strengthening ties with Russia, which has provided military instructors and equipment.

The joint statement emphasized that the US troop withdrawal would not impact development-related relations with Niger, one of the world’s poorest nations.

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