Wednesday, April 17, 2024

Niger: Junta ends military agreement with US

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Isaac Kaledzi
Isaac Kaledzi
Isaac Kaledzi is an experienced and award winning journalist from Ghana. He has worked for several media brands both in Ghana and on the International scene. Isaac Kaledzi is currently serving as an African Correspondent for DW.

Niger’s military leaders have announced an end a military agreement the country had signed with the United States.

The agreement allowed US personnel to be deployed in the country for their operations in the West African sub-region. That base helped the US to monitor regional jihadist activity.

There was a delegation from Washington in Niamey for talks with the military leaders before Saturday’s announcement.

But a spokesperson for the junta, Amadou Abdramane claims the US delegation had accused Niger of making a secret deal to supply uranium to Iran. He described the accusation as “cynical” and “reminiscent of the second Iraq war”.

“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,” Col Amadou Abdramane said in a statement on national television.

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This is one of the several moves by Niger to detch the west and lean towards Russia in fixing its security problems. It had already kicked out French soldiers.

The army overthrew the elected President, Mohamed Bazoum, last July citing the worsening security situation.

The junta leaders said the US had raised objections about the allies that Niger had chosen.

“The government of Niger therefore strongly denounces the condescending attitude combined with the threat of reprisals by the head of the American delegation against the government and the people of Niger,” Col Abdramane said.

In reaction US State Department spokesperson Matthew Miller said on X that it was “aware of the statement… which follows frank discussions at senior levels in Niamey this week about our concerns with the CNSP’s trajectory. We are in touch with the CNSP and will provide further updates as warranted.”

In 2016, the US began investing around $100m (£79m) in a drone base in the central city of Agadez, 750km (460 miles) north-east of Niamey.  There are at least 650 US personnel in Niger.

Jihadist activity in the Sahel has created instability in some countries including Niger, Mali and Burkina Faso. The three countries have now formed a military alliance.

Ecowas wants Mali’s military junta to hand over power within a year


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