The thousand American soldiers engaged in Niger in the anti-jihadist fight will be withdrawn, several American officials announced on Friday April 19, after the Niamey military regime denounced a cooperation agreement.

The number two in American diplomacy, Kurt Campbell, accepted the request from the Nigerien authorities during a meeting in Washington with Prime Minister Ali Mahamane Lamine Zeine, detailed these officials, on condition of anonymity.

The agreement provides for the sending of an American delegation to Niger in the coming days to agree on the details of the withdrawal. Nigerien public television had already announced such a trip earlier on Friday.

The United States suspended most of its cooperation, including military cooperation, with Niger after the coup that overthrew elected president Mohamed Bazoum on July 26. In March, Niger denounced the military cooperation agreement signed in 2012 with the United States, believing that it had been “unilaterally imposed” by Washington.

Reconciliation with Russia

The thousand American soldiers present in Niger are engaged in the anti-jihadist fight in the Sahel and have a large drone base in Agadez (north). On Saturday, thousands of people demonstrated in Niamey to demand their immediate departure at the initiative of a group of around ten associations supporting the regime.

After coming to power, the new military regime quickly demanded the departure of soldiers from the former French colonial power and notably moved closer to Russia, like neighboring Mali and Burkina Faso, also governed by the military. .

In mid-January, Russia announced that it had agreed to “intensify” its military cooperation with Niger. A Russian delegation went to Niamey in December to discuss with the military and agreements on strengthening military cooperation were then signed.