US Says It Plans to Resume Security Partnership With Niger

France is completing its withdrawal from Niger this month, but the US is maintaining its military presence

A US official said Wednesday that the US is planning to resume its security partnership with the post-coup government of Niger, known as the National Council for the Safeguard of the Homeland (CNSP).

Niger military officers established the CNSP, which is led by Gen. Abdourahamane Tchiani, after ousting former President Mohamed Bazoum in a July 26 coup. Molly Phee, the US assistant secretary of state for African Affairs, told reporters that she met with CNSP ministers and encouraged them to announce a timeline for a return to democratic rule.

“In our discussions, I confirmed the intent of the United States to resume security and development cooperation in phases, reciprocally as the CNSP takes actions,” Phee said. “I have made clear to the CNSP that we want to be a good partner again, but the CNSP has to be a good partner to the United States.”

According to Reuters, President Biden told Congress last week that there are currently 648 US troops stationed in Niger. Before the US repositioned its forces in September, there were about 1,100 US soldiers in the country. The US also has a major drone base in Niger that cost over $100 million to build, known as Airbase 201.

The CNSP had demanded the withdrawal of French forces from Niger, following a pattern of France being expelled from its former colonies in West Africa, but the US was allowed to stay. Niger’s military said Tuesday that French troops would complete the withdrawal by December 22 and that they were leaving “for good.”

Phee also said the CNSP was open to negotiations with the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), a bloc of West African nations that was threatening military intervention when Bazoum was first ousted. The threat of an invasion has subsided, but ECOWAS is still maintaining harsh sanctions on Niger and is not allowing humanitarian aid to enter the country.

Author: Dave DeCamp

Dave DeCamp is the news editor of, follow him on Twitter @decampdave.