Niger revokes military accord with US, junta spokesperson says

By Thomson Reuters Mar 16, 2024 | 4:28 PM

NIAMEY (Reuters) – Niger’s ruling military junta has revoked with immediate effect a military accord that allows military personnel and civilian staff from the U.S. Department of Defense on its soil, junta spokesperson Colonel Amadou Abdramane said on Saturday.

The decision follows a visit by U.S. officials this week which was led by Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs Molly Phee and included General Michael Langley, commander of the U.S. Africa Command.

Abdramane, speaking on television in the West African nation, said the U.S. delegation did not follow diplomatic protocol, and that Niger was not informed about the composition of the delegation, the date of its arrival or the agenda.

He added that the discussions were around the current military transition in Niger and military cooperation between the two countries.

There were about 1,100 U.S. troops in Niger as of last year, where the U.S. military operates out of two bases including a drone base known as Air Base 201, built near Agadez in central Niger at a cost of more than $100 million.

Since 2018 the base has been used to target Islamic State militants and Jama’at Nusrat al-Islam wal Muslimeen (JNIM), an al Qaeda affiliate, in the Sahel region.

(Reporting by Boureima Balima; Additional reporting by Idrees Ali and Daphne Psaledakis; Writing by Bate Felix; Editing by Alexander Smith and Paul Simao)