US Begins Withdrawing Troops From Niger

(MENAFN- Kuwait News Agency (KUNA)) ALGIERS, June 8 (KUNA) -- The US has started pulling out troops and military equipment from Niger after failing to reach an agreement with the West African nation to keep its bases there.
A US Air Force C-17 Globemaster III transported Friday more than 269 out of 946 service members as well as the sensitive military equipment from the US bases 101 and 201 in Niger, according to a joint statement by the Nigerien army and the US Department of Defense on Saturday.
The statement was signed by Colonel Mamman Sani Kyaw, Commander of the Nigerien Land Forces, and Major General Kenneth Eckman of the US Department of Defense.
"This flight exemplifies the productive cooperation between the US and Nigerien armed forces through the Joint Disengagement Commission, which is tasked with overseeing and coordinating the orderly and safe withdrawal of US forces from Niger," reads the statement.
Washington and Niamey had previously announced that the process of withdrawing US forces would end by September 15.
"Both US and Nigerien officials are dedicated to completing a safe, orderly, and responsible withdrawal by September 15, 2024. They emphasize their commitment to the protection and security of American forces during this process," added the statement.
The two sides pledged to make every effort to make the withdrawal process a success and stressed the continuation of cooperation in areas of common interest, indicating that this withdrawal will not affect the current relations between the two countries.
It is noteworthy that the military junta in Niamey, which came to power following a political transformation on July 26, canceled the military cooperation agreement with the United States last March, demanding the withdrawal of French and American forces.
Last April, Washington agreed to withdraw its forces from Niger, where about 650 American soldiers were stationed in addition to hundreds of contractors.
The American military presence in Niger began in 2012 when the United States signed a military cooperation agreement with Niger. Since then, about 1,100 American soldiers have participated in the fight against jihadists in the Sahel region and they have a large drone base in Agadez. (end)


Kuwait News Agency (KUNA)

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