US to withdraw military from Niger after security pact revoked

By: Jessica Barshis |

US officials have confirmed that over 1,000 military personnel will be withdrawn from Niger a month after its military junta revoked a security pact between the two countries.

The announcement came on Friday after an unsuccessful meeting between US deputy secretary of state Kurt Campbell and Niger Prime Minister Ali Mahaman Lamine Zeine.

The 12-year-old pact, which allowed US forces to monitor and fight jihadist terrorism on Niger’s land, was compromised when a junta spokesman declared their presence “illegal” in a public statement on March 15, per The Guardian.

The outlet reports that the move will “force the Biden administration to rethink its counter-terrorism strategy” and is a “strategic victory for Russia.”

“We can confirm the beginning of discussions between the US and Niger for the orderly withdrawal of US forces from the country,” a US defense official told Fox News.

As the withdrawal occurs, one of the US’ main drone bases in Africa will close. Base 201 was predominantly used to combat terrorist groups in the Sahel region and was reportedly where the 2019 strikes against Islamic State fighters in Libya originated from.

Tensions have been high between Niger and the US since last July after then-president Mohamed Bazoum was overthrown and taken into custody. He has since been on house arrest despite the US demanding his release.

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