US military begins developing plans to withdraw troops from Niger

U.S. officials announced Saturday that the United States will begin withdrawing from Niger, which experts say is a blow to the United States and its allies in the region when it comes to launching security operations in the Sahel. .

The U.S. State Department told The Associated Press on Saturday that Niger’s Prime Minister, appointed by the ruling military junta, and U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Kurt Campbell agreed Friday that the two countries will begin planning for a military withdrawal. U.S. Army.

U.S. officials have not given a date for the withdrawal. A US delegation is expected to be sent soon to coordinate the details of the withdrawal process.

The planned withdrawal comes as U.S. officials say they are trying to reach a new military agreement.

Niger plays a central role in U.S. military operations in Africa’s Sahel region, located on the edge of the Sahara Desert.

Niger has a major U.S. air base in the city of Agadez, about 920 kilometers from the capital Niamey, and is used for manned and unmanned reconnaissance flights and other operations. The United States has also invested hundreds of millions of dollars in training Niger’s military since it began operations there in 2013.

But Niger’s relations with the West have been strained since rebel soldiers overthrew the country’s president in July.

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