U.S. to complete withdrawal from Niger’s Air Base 101 Sunday

U.S. to complete withdrawal from Niger’s Air Base 101 Sunday
Caption: Major General Kenneth Ekman at Air Base 101 in Niger, May 30, 2024 / Source: U.S. Air Force

The U.S. military will complete its withdrawal from Niger's Air Base 101 in the capital this weekend, then shift focus to exiting a major drone base in the coming weeks, Reuters reports citing U.S. General Kenneth Ekman. Niger's junta ordered nearly 1,000 U.S. military personnel to leave by September 15, following a coup last year. Previously, Niger was a key U.S. ally in the fight against Sahel insurgents.

Ekman said Niger will take control of the base next to Diori Hamani International Airport after a joint ceremony Sunday to mark the departure of the last U.S. C-17 transport plane.

While Russia has deployed troops to the same base for training activities, U.S. officials say there has been no contact between U.S. and Russian personnel.

Since 2020, coups in Mali, Burkina Faso, and Niger have resulted in the termination of defense agreements with U.S., French, and U.N. forces, complicating multilateral efforts to combat Islamist militants across the region.

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