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US agrees to withdraw troops from Niger amid Sahel region’s pivot to Russia – Prime Time News24



The US will withdraw its troopers from Niger because the West African nation is more and more turning to Russia and away from Western powers.

The US Division of State agreed to tug out about 1,000 troops from the nation that has been underneath navy rule since July 2023, US media reported late on Friday.

US Deputy Secretary of State Kurt Campbell and Nigerien Prime Minister Ali Mahaman Lamine Zeine met on Friday, the studies mentioned, with Washington committing to start planning an “orderly and accountable” withdrawal of its troops from the nation.

The US constructed a navy base in Niger to fight armed teams that pledged allegiance to al-Qaeda and ISIL (ISIS) within the Sahel area, which additionally consists of Burkina Faso and Mali.

The most important airbase in Agadez, some 920km (572 miles) from the capital Niamey was used for manned and unmanned surveillance flights and different operations.

Often called Air Base 201, it was constructed at a value of greater than $100m. Since 2018, it has been used to focus on ISIL fighters and Jama’at Nusrat al-Islam wal Muslimeen (JNIM), an al-Qaeda affiliate.

Whereas sustaining a line of communication with the navy authorities in Niger, the US navy had began making ready for the potential for having to withdraw, with US Basic James Hecker saying final yr that Washington is probing “a number of areas” elsewhere in West Africa to station its drones.

Nigerien state tv reported that US officers would go to subsequent week. There was no public announcement from the State Division on the withdrawal and officers mentioned no timeline had but been set.

Niger introduced in March that it had suspended a navy settlement with the US and would pursue a withdrawal of its troopers.

The US is being pressured to withdraw from Niger as it isn’t favoured both by the ruling navy or by the inhabitants that’s rejecting post-colonial forces. Protesters took to the streets within the capital earlier this month to demand the departure of US forces.

Just like the navy rulers in neighbouring Mali and Burkina Faso, the West African nation had kicked out French and European troops following the navy takeover.

All three nations have now turned to Russia for assist, with Moscow confirming earlier this month that it has despatched navy trainers and an air defence system and different navy gear to Niger because it deepens its safety ties.

Together with armed teams, the conflict-ridden Sahel area can also be changing into an influential route for drug trafficking, with the United Nations saying 1,466kg (3,232 kilos) of cocaine have been seized in Mali, Chad, Burkina Faso and Niger in contrast with a median of simply 13kg (28.7 kilos) between 2013 and 2020.

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