Niger withdraws military agreement with US

Ruling military spokesman Colonel Amadou Abdoulamane said Niger had “immediately” suspended its military agreement with the United States, a blow to U.S. security interests in the region.

The agreement allows U.S. military and civil defense personnel to operate in Niger, which plays a central role in U.S. military operations in Africa’s Sahel region and is home to a major air base.

The decision was announced on Saturday after senior U.S. officials, led by Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs Molly Fee and U.S. Africa Command Commander Gen. Michael Langley, visited the West African country earlier this week to discuss Democratic transition issues.

Abdellamane, speaking on local television, said the U.S. delegation failed to observe diplomatic protocol and Niger was not informed of the delegation’s composition, arrival date or agenda.

“Niger regrets the intention of the United States delegation to deny the sovereign people of Niger the right to choose partners and the type of partnership that can truly help them in the fight against terrorism,” Abdellamane said.

About 650 U.S. military personnel were working in Niger in December, according to a White House report to Congress. The U.S. military maintains a major air base in the Niger city of Agadez, about 920 kilometers (572 miles) from the capital Niamey, which it uses for manned and unmanned reconnaissance flights and other operations.

A drone base called Air Base 201 near Agadez cost more than $100 million to build. The base has been used since 2018 to attack ISIL militants and the al-Qaida affiliate Jama’at Nusrat al-Islam wal Muskeen (JNIM) in the Sahel.

See also  US agrees to withdraw troops from Niger as Sahel turns to Russia

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By Ali Raza

I am a dedicated and skilled News Content Writer with a passion for delivering accurate and engaging stories to a diverse audience. With a solid background in journalism and a keen eye for detail, I bring a commitment to excellence and a deep understanding of the evolving media landscape.

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