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US reaches agreement with Niger to remove military forces by mid-September 2024

US troops will leave the West African nation of Niger by September 15, 2024. The decision, which was announced by US officials on May 19, 2024, follows five days of negotiations in Niamey, the capital of Niger.  

Despite the withdrawal, officials emphasized that the two nations aim to continue collaborating on mutual interests in the region.  

“We have a lengthy history with them going back well over a decade, and working with them over the course of these discussions proved out that that relationship is very strong,” explained a senior defense official in a statement from the US Department of Defense. “Obviously, we’re working against the backdrop of much more challenging political situation.” 

In March 2024, the Nigerien junta demanded the departure of around 1,000 US service members.

The majority of US troops are stationed at Niger Air Base 201, near the city of Agadez in central Niger. The construction of the base, which began in 2016, cost over $100 million. In 2019, the US Africa Command commenced intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) missions in the region using MQ-9 Reaper drones from the base. 

After the coup d’état against Niger President Mohamed Bazoum on July 26, 2023, which installed a military junta called the National Council for the Safeguard of the Homeland (CNSP) in power, several military cooperation agreements previously made with Western countries were canceled. 

France was the first to leave the country. On December 22, 2023, French forces left Air Base 101 Niamey. Located on Diori Hamani International Airport (NIM) territory, this facility was established to support Operation Barkhane, a counter-terrorism mission in the Sahel region.  

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