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IPFS News Link • Military

US Military Desperately Seeking To Stay In Niger Despite Order To Leave

•, by Tyler Durden

"The Pentagon is working with Niger officials, seeking a way for U.S. troops to stay in the country — a key base for counterterrorism operations in sub-Saharan Africa — following a weekend directive that they leave," The Associated Press reports.

Spokesperson Sabrina Singh said the US is seeking "clarification" from Niger officials and is still engaged in lengthy and direct" discussions with the junta leaders. Washington has warned the West African nation against forging deeper ties with 'rogue' actors like Russian and Iran. 

White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre has said that the Biden administration is "closely monitoring the Russian defense activities" there in order "to assess and mitigate potential risk to U.S. personnel, interests and assets." Wagner Group is one major Russian mercenary outfit which has made deep inroads into the region.

Over the weekend, Niger's military-led government which is called the National Council for the Safeguard of the Homeland (CNSP) declared US flights over Niger territory to be "illegal"

Last year's coup in the country saw a military-led government come to power, which from the start signaled rough and uncertain times ahead for US-Niger relations. A Saturday statement by Nigerien junta spokesman Col. Maj. Amadou Abdramane said, "Niger regrets the intention of the American delegation to deny the sovereign Nigerien people the right to choose their partners and types of partnerships capable of truly helping them fight against terrorism."

This charge of the US not respecting the West African nation's sovereignty comes in reaction to recent Western intelligence claims that Niger is engaged in secret talks and deal-making to grant Iran access to its uranium. Singh in a Monday briefing had said, "We were troubled on the path that Niger is on."