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US Troops To Withdraw From Niger Amid Coup Tensions



The United States is set to withdraw its troops and equipment from two bases in Niger, following a coup in the West African country.

The pullout, scheduled for this weekend and August, comes ahead of a September 15 deadline agreed upon with Niger’s new ruling junta.

According to Air Force Maj. Gen. Kenneth Ekman, the US commander in charge of the withdrawal, the bulk of the forces will relocate to Europe, while smaller teams of special operations forces and advisers will move to other West African nations.

The withdrawal marks a significant shift in the US military presence in the Sahel region, where extremist groups linked to al-Qaeda and the Islamic State operate.

The US had used the Niger bases for counterterrorism missions, but the coup has forced a reevaluation of its strategy.

Ekman expressed hope that other West African nations, such as the Ivory Coast and Ghana, may be willing to host an expanded US presence.

However, the withdrawal from Niger leaves a counterterrorism gap, with Jama’a Nusrat ul-Islam wa al-Muslimin (JNIM) actively seeking to expand its reach in the region.

The US has been working to maintain partnerships with coastal West African nations, but Ekman acknowledged that some countries are hesitant to allow additional US troops.

The US is seeking to balance its security interests with the need to respect the sovereignty of regional partners.

As the US withdraws from Niger, it is leaving behind some equipment and facilities, unlike the destructive withdrawal from Afghanistan, a source told Diaspora Digital Media.

Ekman emphasized the goal of leaving things in good condition, preserving options for future security relations.

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