US Looking To Stay in Niger Despite Order To Leave

The Pentagon says it's in talks with Nigerien officials

The Pentagon is looking to stay in Niger despite an order from the country’s government for US forces to leave.

Pentagon spokeswoman Sabrina Singh told reporters on Monday that the US was seeking “clarification” from Niger and is in talks with officials in the military-led government, known as the National Council for the Safeguard of the Homeland (CNSP).

Over the weekend, the CNSP, which took power in a July 2023 coup, said that it was severing military ties with the US and declared that the US military presence was no longer justified. The announcement came after a delegation of US officials visited the country.

The CNSP said the decision was made after the US delegation didn’t show respect for Niger’s sovereignty. Singh said that the US warned Niger over its relationship with Russia and Iran, and The Wall Street Journal reported that the US accused the CNSP of secretly pursuing a deal to give Tehran access to Niger’s vast uranium reserves.

“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,” CNSP spokesman Col. Maj. Amadou Abdramane said on Saturday.

Singh said that the US has 1,000 military personnel still stationed in Niger. The US has a major drone base in the country that cost over $100 million to build, known as Air Base 201, which supports US military operations across the Sahel region.

The US does not want to give up its military presence in Niger but has been preparing for the possibility since it’s been in talks with other West African states to potentially base drones on their territory, including Benin, the Ivory Coast, and Ghana. The CNSP has already kicked France out of Niger, a withdrawal that was completed in December.

Singh insisted the US has not been involved in military operations other than force protection in Niger since the coup, which ousted former President Mahamoud Bazoum. The US previously expressed support for a military intervention led by the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) to reinstate Bazoum. But ECOWAS backed down on its threat, and lifted harsh sanctions it imposed on Niger in the wake of the coup.

Author: Dave DeCamp

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