The United States has begun “as a precaution” to reposition its troops in Niger, the scene of a coup d’état at the end of July, the Pentagon announced Thursday.
The Department of Defense “is repositioning part of its personnel and resources from air base 101 in Niamey (the capital, editor’s note) to air base 201 in Agadez”, further north, a door told the press. -speaker, Sabrina Singh.
“There is no immediate threat to our staff or violence on the ground,” she added, calling the decision a “precautionary measure. ” A “small group” will remain on the Niamey base after the transfer, which is in progress, she further clarified.
Ms. Singh also said that “some non-essential staff and contractors” had left the country several weeks ago.
The American army had already suspended joint exercises with the Nigerien army and American diplomacy had ordered the departure of its non-essential personnel from its embassy in Niamey in early August.
Military forces overthrew the President of Niger, Mohamed Bazoum, on July 26 and placed him and his family under house arrest in the presidential palace. The United States has some 1,100 soldiers stationed in Niger, who were operating against jihadist groups active in this region.
France, for its part, has around 1,500 soldiers in Niger also engaged in the anti-jihadist fight and who find themselves in a very delicate situation, the military authors of the coup having denounced the defense agreements linking them to Paris and ordered France to withdraw its soldiers.
Paris recognized that “exchanges” were taking place between the Nigerien and French armies on the withdrawal of “certain French military elements” in Niger. There is “no link” between the movement of American troops and “what the French army is doing at the moment”, however assured Ms. Singh.
Especially since the United States seems to be looking forward to the future and says it hopes “that diplomatic discussions will continue and that the situation in Niger will be resolved diplomatically,” she said.
Source: Africa News