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US to Withdraw Troops from Niger, Shifting Regional Dynamics

The United States has agreed to withdraw its over 1,000 troops from Niger, signaling a strategic shift in West Africa. The decision, confirmed by officials on Friday, comes as the US reevaluates its military posture in the region, including its major drone base in Niger.

 

Deputy Secretary of State Kurt Campbell, in a meeting with Niger’s junta Prime Minister Ali Mahaman Lamine Zeine, agreed to commence the withdrawal process. A US delegation is expected to travel to Niamey soon to coordinate the orderly pullout, as reported by Nigerien state television.

 

While the State Department has yet to make a public announcement, concerns about troops’ safety and the return to civilian rule in Niger have been key considerations. The US has long relied on Niger as a crucial partner in combating jihadist threats in the region, investing in infrastructure such as the $100 million drone base in Agadez.

 

However, recent geopolitical shifts, including Russia’s growing involvement in Africa and the change in leadership in Niger, have prompted a reassessment of US military presence. Russian military instructors arrived in Niger earlier this month, signaling a potential shift in alliances.

 

The decision to withdraw US troops from Niger marks a significant development in regional dynamics, with implications for security and stability. As the US recalibrates its military strategy, attention turns to alternative partnerships and surveillance measures in the fight against extremism in West Africa.

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