Niger Terminates Military Cooperation with US Government

Niger’s government made an announcement on Saturday, declaring the immediate termination of its military cooperation agreement with the United States. This decision followed a visit by a senior US delegation and comes amidst the junta’s recent moves towards Russia.

The statement, broadcasted on national television, mentioned the government’s decision to denounce the agreement concerning US military and civilian personnel from the Department of Defense inside Niger.

US State Department spokesman Matthew Miller acknowledged the statement, noting that it followed discussions about concerns regarding the junta’s direction. The US remains in contact with the junta and will provide updates as needed, according to Miller.

The Pentagon echoed a similar sentiment in a statement provided to AFP.

The United States has approximately 1,000 troops stationed in Niger at a desert drone base constructed at a cost of $100 million. However, movements have been restricted since the July 2023 coup, and US assistance to the government has been reduced.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken visited Niger a year ago to support President Mohamed Bazoum, a key ally in Western security efforts against jihadists. However, Bazoum was deposed by the military just four months later and placed under house arrest.

The military junta also took a firm stance against France, leading to the withdrawal of French troops that had been stationed in Niger for nearly a decade.

While Niger’s military had previously collaborated closely with the United States, the junta has been seeking cooperation with Russia. However, it has not fully embraced Moscow like its military-led neighbors Mali and Burkina Faso.

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