The United States pushed out of Niger

The United States pushed out of Niger

Niamey did not want to hear Washington's arguments.

Paris, which railed against the American attempt to negotiate alone, for its part, new agreements with the military junta in power in Niger since last summer, must be laughing under its breath.

Like the French troops six months ago, the 1,100 American soldiers, mainly deployed in the Agadez base, in the north of the country, must quickly pack up. The American attempt failed. The latest discussions this weekend in Washington between US Deputy Secretary of State Kurt Campbell and Nigerien Prime Minister Ali Mahamane Lamine Zeine, present in the United States to negotiate the resumption of disbursements from the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank, suspended since the coup, came to an end.

The Nigerien Prime Minister repeated the messages that were sent to the other American missi dominici who made the trip to Niamey: “American troops must leave and quickly”.

Envoys from Washington are expected in the Nigerien capital in the coming hours to discuss the outlines and a timetable for this departure.

There is no doubt that the deadline will be very short,” explains an African diplomat well-connected in the Sahel. “Nigeriens, like Burkinabés and Malians, were seduced by Moscow's speech. The Russians have worked well on the streets of these countries. There is real popular pressure on these juntas to get closer to Moscow and abandon partnerships with the West. Watch the new demonstration in Niamey this Sunday to demand the withdrawal of American troops. The Agadez Base is very important for military intelligence. The Americans, like the French, will have to abandon all their military installations which will very quickly be taken over by Nigerien troops, or even by its new allies, which will really displease Washington. We have truly entered a new cold war in Africa”.

Big American anger

This change in balance in the Sahel obviously does not please Washington, which made it clear to the Nigerien head of government according to the New York Times, which quotes the words of the number 2 in American diplomacy to the Nigerien Prime Minister: “The “The United States does not agree that Niger is looking to Russia for its security and to Iran for a possible deal on its uranium reserves.”

Since April 10, the first troops of the Africa Corps, the new identity of the Wagner Group, have arrived in Niamey to “train” the Nigerien military and, unofficially, to ensure the security of the head of the junta, General Tiani. A mission that the Russians have already been fulfilling in the Central African Republic for several years.

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