US Forces in Niger Restrict Movement and Assess Situation Following Military Coup

US Forces in Niger Restrict Movement and Assess Situation Following Military Coup

In the wake of a military coup that ousted President Mohamed Bazoum, US forces in Niger have taken precautionary measures by restricting their movement and closely evaluating the evolving situation. The coup, carried out by a group of soldiers who appeared on national television, declared the overthrow of Bazoum's regime and established themselves as the National Council for the Safeguard of the Homeland.

As the news of the coup spread, Niger's military released a statement indicating its support for the takeover, aiming to prevent deadly confrontations between different forces. The United States government reacted with concern and condemnation of the military's actions.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken emphasized the importance of democratic governance and the rule of law in US-Niger relations. While the US expressed solidarity with President Bazoum, the official term "coup" was avoided to prevent the suspension of critical aid to the country. The US government is closely monitoring the situation and may take further actions based on how events unfold.

Approximately 1,016 US troops are stationed in Niger, operating from Air Base 201, which serves as a hub for armed MQ-9 Reaper drones conducting what US officials call counterterrorism operations across Africa.

The US counterterrorism mission in Africa has faced criticism, with journalist Nick Turse highlighting a significant increase in violent events in the region since US involvement began. In several instances, coups in West African countries, including Burkina Faso, Mali, Gambia, Guinea, and Mauritania, have involved soldiers who received training from the US. Although the involvement of US-trained personnel in the Niger coup is yet to be confirmed, these events have raised concerns about the potential ramifications of military assistance provided by the US.

The situation in Niger remains fluid and uncertain, and both the US and the international community are closely monitoring developments. The focus now is on assessing the political and security implications of the coup and ensuring the safety and stability of Niger and the broader region.

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