America to Pull Troops Out of Niger (Sahel and Russia)

America to Pull Troops Out of Niger (Sahel and Russia)

Kanako Mita and Chika Yoshida

Modern Tokyo Times

America is to withdraw approximately 1,100 military personnel from Niger. Accordingly, America will withdraw its armed forces from the Agadez base.

Last month, Niger notified America that the military accord was revoked. Niger made this decision based on the ill will of America toward Niger according to this nation – and because America sought to impose on its foreign policy.

Le Monde reports, “The decision confirms the loss of a strategic foothold for conducting intelligence operations on armed groups in Libya and throughout the Sahel region, at a time when Russia is increasing its influence in the country, as well as among its neighbors.”

Burkina Faso, Mali, and Niger first turned against France. However, the component of America in the Sahel is also under severe pressure. Accordingly, the changing political and military dynamics in Burkina Faso, Mali, and Niger entail that they are moving closer to the Russian Federation.

Voice of America reports, “The U.S. has about 1,000 soldiers divvied up between the two air bases in Niger – one in the capital, Niamey, and the other, a $110 million drone base built in the northern city of Agadez. The two bases are key to U.S. efforts to fighting terrorism in the region, and drone missions from the Agadez base target militants in the area.”

Molly Phee (Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs) and General Michael Langley (Commander of U.S. Africa Command) failed to build bridges with Niger before the agreed withdrawal.

Last month, Colonel Amadou Abdramane said, “The US presence on the territory of the Republic of Niger is illegal and violates all the constitutional and democratic rules which would require the sovereign people… to be consulted on the installation of a foreign army on its territory.”

He continued, “…the government of Niger forcefully denounces the condescending attitude accompanied by the threat of retaliation from the head of the American delegation towards the Nigerien government and people.” 

America utilized the drone base since 2018 to target Islamic terrorist groups in the Sahel region. This notably concerns ISIS (Islamic State) and Jama’at Nusrat al-Islam wal Muslimeen (an affiliate of al Qaeda).

Lee Jay Walker (Modern Tokyo Times analyst) says, “If America, ECOWAS, the European Union, and G7 disengage from the Sahel region – China, Iran, the Russian Federation, and Turkey will utilize this geopolitical vacuum.”

Islamic terrorist groups and criminal drug gangs will gain from military disengagement and economic sanctions on Burkina Faso, Mali, and Niger.

On top of this, economic sanctions will lead to growing poverty and mass immigration for the people of the Sahel region – who are desperate to find work. Accordingly, it is incumbent on nations to listen to Burkina Faso, Mali, and Niger rather than seeking to dictate.

The Russian Federation – while seeking to improve relations with Burkina Faso, Mali, and Niger – must adopt a policy of equal political and military engagement.

Modern Tokyo News is part of the Modern Tokyo Times group Modern Tokyo Times – International News and Japan News – Sawako Utsumi’s website and Modern Tokyo Times artist Modern Tokyo News – Tokyo News and International News