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Niger Orders American Troops to Leave Its Territory

Niger said it is revoking its military cooperation deal with the United States, ordering 1,000 American armed forces personnel to leave the country and throwing the United States’ strategy in the region into disarray.

The announcement by the West African Nation’s military junta on Saturday came after a meeting with a delegation from Washington and the top U.S. commander for Africa, Gen. Michael E. Langley. The move is in keeping with a recent pattern by countries in the Sahel region, an arid area south of the Sahara, of breaking ties with Western countries. Increasingly, they are partnering with Russia instead.

Niger’s rejection of military ties with the United States follows the withdrawal from Niger of troops from France, the former colonial power that, for the past decade, has led foreign counterterrorism efforts against jihadist groups in West Africa, but which has lately been perceived as a pariah in the region.

“The American presence in the territory of the Republic of Niger is illegal,” Niger’s military spokesman, Col. Amadou Abdramane, said on national television. He added that the U.S. military presence “violates all the constitutional and democratic rules, which would require the sovereign people — notably through its elected officials — to be consulted on the installation of a foreign army on its territory.”

Matthew Miller, the chief State Department spokesman, said it was in touch with the ruling military junta, known as the National Council for the Safeguard of the Homeland, or CNSP, about the move.

“We are aware of the statement from the CNSP in Niger, which follows frank discussions at senior levels in Niamey this week about our concerns with the CNSP’s trajectory,” he said in a message on X, formerly Twitter.

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