US agrees to withdraw troops from Niger

The US has agreed to withdraw its troops from Niger, the two countries announced in a joint statement on May 19. "The US Department of Defense and the Ministry of National Defense of Niger have reached a disengagement agreement to effect the withdrawal of US forces, which has already begun,” the statement said, adding that the disengagement will end no later than Sept. 15. The statement comes after representatives from the two countries met in the capital Niamey as part of a Joint Disengagement Commission. Both delegations guaranteed the protection and security of the US forces during their disengagement.

The United States has relied on Niger as its primary base for monitoring and countering jihadist activity in the Sahel region. The agreement will see around 1,000 troops withdraw. The withdrawal follows a similar agreement from France, whose troops withdrew in December after a wave of anti-French protests and a request from the military junta.

In March, junta spokesman Col. Amadou Abdramane denounced the country's military accord with the United States, citing concerns over interference with Niger's sovereignty.

From Jurist, May 20. Used with permission.

Note: Early this month, Russian military personnel entered an air base in Niger that was hosting US troops, raising fears of a confrontation. However, Russian forces avoided contact with US troops, using a separate hangar at Airbase 101, which is next to Diori Hamani International Airport in Niamey. (Reuters, PRI)

EU announces end of Niger military mission

The European Union announced May 27 that it will be ending its Military Partnership Mission in Niger (EUMPM-Niger), citing the "grave political situation" in the junta-led nation. (Jurist)