Niger Breaks Off Military Cooperation With US Govt

Niger Breaks Off Military Cooperation With US Govt


The government of Niger has officially terminated its military cooperation agreement with the United States, effective immediately.

This abrupt decision was announced on national television on Saturday evening, just one day after a senior US delegation concluded a three-day visit aimed at engaging with Niger’s military junta, which has shown inclinations towards closer ties with Russia.

The formal denunciation of the military cooperation agreement pertains to both military and civilian employees of the US Department of Defense operating within Niger.

This development marks a significant pivot in Niger’s foreign relations and defense strategy, given the longstanding collaboration between the two nations.

Reacting to the announcement, US State Department spokesperson Matthew Miller acknowledged the development, noting it followed “frank discussions” that expressed the US’s apprehensions about the junta’s direction.

Miller, conveying his message through the social platform X, indicated that the US remains in dialogue with the Nigerien military regime and promised updates as the situation evolves.

The Pentagon, aligning with the State Department’s stance, confirmed the receipt of Niger’s decision and shared a matching statement with the Agence France-Presse (AFP).

The termination of this agreement comes against the backdrop of a complex military and political landscape in Niger.

The country hosts approximately 1,000 US troops, primarily stationed at a desert drone base constructed at a significant investment of $100 million.

However, operations at this facility have been constrained since the coup in July 2023, with the US scaling back its governmental aid.

The shift in Niger’s military alliances became more pronounced following the ouster of President Mohamed Bazoum by the military junta, a development that occurred merely four months after US Secretary of State Antony Blinken’s visit, which aimed to reinforce support for Bazoum’s administration.

Amidst these political upheavals, Niger has toughened its stance towards France, its former colonial ruler, resulting in the withdrawal of French military presence that had been established for nearly a decade.

While Niger’s junta has explored cooperation with Russia, it has yet to fully align with Moscow, unlike its neighbors Mali and Burkina Faso, which are under military governance.

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