POWDER KEG AFRICA: Niger Protest Demands Departure of US Troops, Right as Russian Military ‘Instructors’ Are Welcomed

The rapidly changing situation in Africa’s Sahel region saw the collapse of French post-colonial rule, but American influence is also at stake in the wake of coups in multiple countries, ushering into power military juntas that are developing bilateral relations with Russia.

In the case of Niger, this situation escalated up to the point where the Niger Junta Severed the ongoing US Military Cooperation Agreement and Ordered its troops and civilian personnel out of the Country

A spokesman for the Niger military junta, Major Amadou Abdramane, stated clearly, with no margin for interpretation: ‘The American bases and civilian personnel cannot stay on Nigerien soil any longer.’

Since then, the US has been scrambling to assess the future of its ‘counterterrorism operations’ in the Sahel.

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Now, it arises that a crowd took to the streets of Niger’s capital today (13) to demand the departure of U.S. troops, mere days after the Junta welcomed new Russian military instructors.

Reuters reported:

“Marching arm in arm through central Niamey, the crowd waved Nigerien flags in a demonstration that recalled anti-French protests that spurred the withdrawal of France’s forces from Niger last year after the army seized power in a coup.

One hand-written sign in English read ‘USA rush out of Niger’, in a show of support for the junta and its decision in mid-March to revoke an accord that had allowed around 1,000 U.S. military personnel to operate on its territory out of two bases.

[…] Until the coup, Niger had remained a key security partner of France and the United States, which used it as a base as part of international efforts to curb a decade-old Islamist insurgency in West Africa’s Sahel region.”

The Niger junta has its counterparts in Mali and Burkina Faso in the process of ending military deals with the Western powers, quitting the regional bloc ECOWAS and strengthening diplomatic ties with Russia.

“The arrival on Wednesday of Russian military instructors and equipment was further evidence of the junta’s openness to closer cooperation with Moscow, which is seeking to boost its influence in Africa.”

Some people heard in the Reuters report do not want the Russian defense assistance to morph into a permanent presence.

“Student Souleymane Ousmane: ‘This is how the French and the Americans and all the other countries settled in Niger — from military cooperation, they ended up occupying large parts of our country’.”

At this point it’s unclear when US troops will leave. One of the main programs in Niger is a drone base known as Air Base 201, which cost more than $100 million.

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Paul Serran is a Brazilian writer and musician, completing his first year as a contributor to The Gateway Pundit. He has written books, articles, TV programs, documentaries, plays. He joined the 'Information war' in 2017 and started writing for an international - predominantly American - audience. Unbanned in X | Truth Social | Telegram Channel

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