Spread the love

Faith Nyasuguta

Negotiations have kicked off between authorities in Niger and the United States concerning the withdrawal of American troops stationed at two airbases within the Sahelian nation. 

Last month, the Nigerien government announced its decision to terminate a military cooperation agreement with Washington, prompting both parties to confirm talks on Tuesday.

Major General Pat Ryder, the Pentagon Press Secretary, affirmed the initiation of discussions and disclosed that a small delegation from the Pentagon and U.S. Africa Command would participate in the process shortly.


For over a decade, the US has conducted counter-terrorism and global security operations against ISIS and Al Qaeda in the West African region through its bases in Niger. The future of these operations now faces uncertainty, although Gen. Pat Ryder sought to reassure stakeholders by affirming the ongoing commitment to work with regional partners to safeguard national interests and ensure collective security.

The withdrawal of US troops has become increasingly imminent following the recent deployment of 100 Russian soldiers in Niger. This development, coupled with widespread protests across the capital city of Niamey demanding the departure of American troops, has further underscored the inevitability of the withdrawal.

As discussions unfold, both Niger and the US must navigate the complex geopolitical landscape of the Sahel region, balancing security concerns with evolving diplomatic relationships and the interests of regional stakeholders. 

The outcome of these negotiations will not only shape the future of military cooperation between Niger and the United States but also have broader implications for security dynamics in the Sahel and the wider West African region.

The United States informed the government of Niger on Friday that it agreed to its request to withdraw U.S. troops from the West African country, said three U.S. officials, a move the Biden administration had resisted and one that will transform Washington’s counterterrorism posture in the region.

/USA command/

The agreement will spell the end of a U.S. troop presence that totaled more than 1,000 and throw into question the status of a $110 million U.S. air base that is only six years old. It is the culmination of a military coup last year that ousted the country’s democratically elected government and installed a junta that declared America’s military presence there “illegal.”

“The prime minister has asked us to withdraw U.S. troops, and we have agreed to do that,” a senior State Department official told The Washington Post in an interview. This official, like others, spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss the sensitive situation.

The decision was sealed in a meeting earlier Friday between Deputy Secretary of State Kurt Campbell and Niger’s prime minister, Ali Lamine Zeine.

“We’ve agreed to begin conversations within days about how to develop a plan” to withdraw troops, said the senior State Department official. “They’ve agreed that we do it in an orderly and responsible way. And we will need to probably dispatch folks to Niamey to sit down and hash it out. And that of course will be a Defense Department project.”


About Author

Faith Nyasuguta

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *