Protest against foreign bases in Niger. Source: Global Information Network - Photo: 2024

US Military ‘No Longer Justified’ In Niger, Junta Leaders Say

By Lisa Vives, Global Information Network

NEW YORK | 19 March 2024 (IDN) — The West African nation of Niger has suspended military cooperation with Washington after high-level talks to break recent tensions between the two parties collapsed.

Speaking for Niger’s military junta, Col. Maj. Amadou Abdramane announced on state TV that the U.S. military presence was no longer justified and that U.S. flights over the country’s territory in recent weeks were illegal.

Summarizing the talks held recently with U.S. officials, Col. Abdramane said the Americans 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”.

Further, the US had raised objections about the allies that Niger had chosen. “The government of Niger 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.

U.S. officials were hoping to resume their friendship with Niger, having spent over $100,000 to build a base where more than over 1,000 U.S. soldiers have been stationed.

Following a coup last year that removed Niger’s president, Mohammed Bazoum, the United States largely suspended military aid to Niger, with activity at the base limited to surveillance for protection of U.S. forces.

At the Agadez base, Americans train Niger’s military, conduct surveillance and target Islamic State and al-Qaeda-linked militants operating in the Sahel region. The airbase cost about $100 million and was completed in 2019.

Air Base 201 in Agadez is the US government’s most expensive construction project ever undertaken. It’s there for war on terror operations, but it’s really there also for great power projection against countries like Russia and China, said Al Jazeera correspondent Shihab Rattansi.

The U.S. and France had more than 2,500 military personnel in the region until recently, and together with other European countries, had invested hundreds of millions of dollars in military assistance and training. Shutting down the base is “a huge blow to the US,” Rattansi said.  [IDN-InDepthNews]

Photo: Protest against foreign bases in Niger. Source: Global Information Network

IDN is the flagship agency of the Non-profit International Press Syndicate

Related Posts

Begin typing your search term above and press enter to search. Press ESC to cancel.

Back To Top