The US forces begin their withdrawal from Niger

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More than 269 of Niger’s 946 US troops have withdrawn from Niger, according to a joint statement signed by Nigerien Land Forces Commander Colonel Maman Sani Kyaw and Major General Kenneth Ekman of the US Department of Defense.

Several tons of equipment were also withdrawn, according to the agreement signed on May 19 between Washington and the ruling transitional military regime in Niamey, the official statement said.

The US and Nigerien sides considered this the official beginning of the withdrawal of US military personnel and equipment, and that a joint disengagement committee has been formed to facilitate coordination.

The two sides affirmed their commitment to spare no effort for the success of this withdrawal, in particular to protect and ensure the security of US forces.

They also pledged to continue cooperation in areas of mutual interest and recalled that the withdrawal of US troops will have no impact on the current relations between the two countries.

The United States and Niger have previously announced that the troop withdrawal, which came at the request of the military council, ends on September 15 at the latest.

The two countries confirmed earlier that they had reached a disengagement agreement, after the military council’s decision in mid-March to cancel the military cooperation agreement between the two countries, and the US side agreed to withdraw in mid-April 2024.

The United States has a large drone base near Agadez in northern Niger, which cost $100 million to build.

After the coup against civilian President Mohamed Bazoum at the end of July 2023, the Nigerien military government demanded the withdrawal of French forces and allied with Russia, which sent military trainers and military equipment to it during the months of April and May.

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