US Troops to Complete Withdrawal from Niger by Mid-September, Pentagon Confirms
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By The Smartencyclopedia Staff & Agencies 

U.S. military personnel stationed in Niger will finalize their withdrawal by mid-September, as announced by both the Pentagon and Nigerien defense officials following extensive discussions held in the capital city of Niamey.

The decision marks the culmination of four days of negotiations between representatives from both nations, signifying a significant development in the ongoing shift of military presence in the West African country.

Niger’s directive to expel American forces deals a substantial blow to U.S. military endeavors in the Sahel region, where militant groups associated with al-Qaida and the Islamic State have been active.

The breakdown in military collaboration stems from the political turbulence that unfolded last July, with the removal of Niger’s democratically elected president by mutinous soldiers. Subsequently, the junta sought the departure of French forces and engaged the Russian mercenary group Wagner for security support.

In response to the military takeover, the United States designated the event as a coup in October, invoking legal constraints on military assistance and aid to Niger.

Presently, around 1,000 U.S. troops remain stationed in Niger, predominantly at an airbase near Agadez, situated approximately 920 kilometers (550 miles) from the capital.

Niger was previously regarded as a crucial ally in the region, and the Agadez base served as a vital hub for U.S. counterterrorism efforts in the Sahel. Over the years, the United States has invested substantial resources, including millions of dollars in the base’s development and extensive military training programs for Nigerien forces since 2013.

As part of the withdrawal plan, the Pentagon intends to relocate the majority of the approximately 100 troops stationed in neighboring Chad. However, discussions are anticipated to resume next month to reassess an agreement governing the presence of U.S. forces in Chad.

The impending withdrawal of U.S. troops from Niger underscores a significant shift in regional military dynamics, raising questions about future security arrangements and the broader geopolitical landscape in the Sahel.

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