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US and Niger Reach Agreement For US Military To Leave By September 15

According to the US Defense Department and the Nigerien Ministry of National Defense, CNN claimed that the US and Niger had achieved an agreement for the US to remove its armed soldiers from the African country by September 15.

The US has four months to remove the less than 1,000 soldiers and their equipment, which includes MQ-9 Reaper drones and other assets, from the nation by the newly agreed date. The military administration of Niger said in March that it had terminated an agreement with the United States that permitted the operation of both military and civilian employees of the Department of Defense inside the nation.

Last week, a US delegation attempted to come to a consensus with the governing military junta in Niger in order to guarantee the safe departure of US personnel and get authorization for military operations. The delicate talks required to remove US personnel have reached a standstill over the flying permissions. According to US sources, US personnel who have departed Niger up to this point have flown on commercial aircraft, even as late as last week. The mission of bringing down US people and equipment that are still in Niger falls to the remaining ground forces. Chris Meier, the assistant secretary of defense for special operations and low-intensity combat, headed the US delegation. Col.-Maj. Mamane Sani Kiaou, the Nigerian army’s chief of staff, headed the team from Nigerien, according to CNN.

“The assurances of security and safety provided to the US soldiers throughout their departure were affirmed by both delegations. The joint statement said that the delegations also devised protocols to ease the arrival and departure of US troops, including landing and overflight permissions for military aircraft.

The pullout came about as a result of growing rift between the US and the military junta in charge after the coup in July of last year, with the Biden administration demanding a return to free and fair elections. CNN stated that the military junta rejected the pleas and instead started strengthening its ties with Russia, whose soldiers are now stationed at the same location from which US forces are evacuating.

Both the US and Niger said that they will keep collaborating on projects of “common interest.”
“To define the future of their bilateral relations, the United States and Niger are committed to ongoing diplomatic dialogue,” the statement said.

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