Connect with us


US seeks to maintain presence in Niger as withdrawal talks progress, officials suggest.



The United States is currently negotiating an agreement with the military junta that took control of Niger last July to leave behind a small contingent of US forces, while the majority of under 1,000 troops are being withdrawn from the West African nation. The withdrawal process will involve discussions with Niger regarding logistics and how it will be carried out, with the intention to draw down to a level that Nigerians can accept. Among the issues to resolve is allowing US military flights in and out of the country, as airspace has been closed to foreign militaries since the coup in July.

The withdrawal from Niger will occur in phases over several months, with the initial phase focusing on removing equipment and personnel deemed unnecessary for life, safety, and security. While there are ongoing conversations to potentially leave a small number of troops in the country, Niger’s government has expressed a clear desire for US forces to leave. This decision is seen as part of a growing instability on the African continent, where military coups have threatened American influence and provided opportunities for Russia to expand its presence through information and security assistance.

Niger terminated its military agreement with the US in March, leading to the presence of Russian forces in the same base housing US troops. In addition, Chad has threatened to cancel its status of forces agreement with the US, further challenging American presence in Africa. The competition for influence between Russia and the United States in Africa is underscored by Russia’s willingness to offer immediate security assistance with fewer conditions compared to American aid. This dynamic has raised concerns about the potential loss of safe operating spaces for US forces in Africa – a development with broader security implications.

US officials acknowledge the difficulty of competing with Russia’s offers to African nations, particularly in providing rapid security assistance. Despite the challenges, they view the growing Russian influence in African countries as an opportunity to showcase the effectiveness of American partnerships in the region. The fear of being marginalized in Africa due to growing instability and Russian influence underscores the importance of maintaining strategic relationships on the continent. Efforts to counter misinformation and disinformation campaigns by Russia in Africa are seen as critical in securing American interests and ensuring stability across the region.

As the balance of influence in Africa shifts, the United States may find itself on the outside looking in, potentially impacting its ability to operate safely and effectively on the continent. There is a recognition of the need to adapt to changing dynamics and to demonstrate the value of American partnerships in contrast to Russian offers. The US remains committed to engaging strategically in Africa to counter growing instability and influence from foreign powers, ensuring the security and stability of the region. The evolving situation in Africa presents both challenges and opportunities for the US to reaffirm its leadership role and commitment to the continent.

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *