As The Us Negotiates A “Heavy-handed” Withdrawal From Niger, What Comes Next?

As The Us Negotiates A “Heavy-handed” Withdrawal From Niger, What Comes Next?

More than a thousand US military personnel are about to be removed from Niger, which was a key ally in the US military’s fight against al-Qaeda affiliates and the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) in the Sahel region of Africa, which is currently seeing a spike in violent deaths.

In March, Niger declared that it was terminating its defense contract with the United States of America “with immediate effect.” The US Department of State verified that representatives will confer with their Nigerien counterparts to deliberate on “an orderly and responsible withdrawal of US forces” on Thursday.

There is no surprise in the split. Experts think that the US and the military administration, which was imposed via a coup last year, would always make bedfellows uneasy. In addition, the junta’s decision to show 1,500 French troops the door at the end of the previous year established the tone for its interactions with the West.

Russia has now made an appearance. Before their late leader, Yevgeny Prigozhin, marched on Moscow last year, state-funded Wagner mercenaries were already well entrenched throughout Africa. The organization has since changed its name to the “Africa Corps” in an obvious attempt to forget that period of history, and a number of its military instructors recently traveled to Niamey, the capital of Niger, carrying supplies to establish an air defense base.

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