US To Withdraw All Troops From Niger by September 15

The US and Niger have agreed on the withdrawal plan

US troops ordered to leave Niger will complete the withdrawal by mid-September under an agreement reached in talks between US and Nigerien officials.

The Pentagon released a joint statement with Niger’s Defense Ministry that said the two nations “have reached a disengagement agreement to effect the withdrawal of US forces, which has already begun. It is therefore agreed that this disengagement will end no later than September 15, 2024.”

The statement continued: “Both delegations confirmed the guarantees of protection and security to the American forces during their withdrawal. The delegations also established procedures to facilitate the entry and exit of US personnel, including overflight and landing clearances for military flights.”  

US officials told the AP that some military personnel and equipment have already been pulled out of Niger, and there are fewer than 1,000 US troops left in the country. Most of them are based at Airbase 201, a major drone base in Agadez that cost over $100 million to build and serves as a drone hub for US operations across the region.

Niger initially told the US to leave back in March, but the Biden administration was dragging its feet since it didn’t want to give up its military presence in the country. In April, a whistleblower told Congress that the US refusal to withdraw from Niger was putting US troops in danger.

Nigerien Prime Minister Ali Mahaman Lamine Zeine, who was appointed by a military junta that took power following a July 2023 coup, told The Washington Post last week that the US was asked to leave due to threats from US officials over Niger’s relationship with Russia and Iran.

Zeine pointed to threats made by Molly Phee, the State Department’s top official for African affairs. “When she finished, I said, ‘Madame, I am going to summarize in two points what you have said,’” Zeine said. “First, you have come here to threaten us in our country. That is unacceptable. And you have come here to tell us with whom we can have relationships, which is also unacceptable. And you have done it all with a condescending tone and a lack of respect.”

Zeine also said that the US troops in Niger stopped helping with counterterrorism operations following the coup, which ousted former President Mohamed Bazoum. “The Americans stayed on our soil, doing nothing while the terrorists killed people and burned towns,” he said.

Author: Dave DeCamp

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