US Begins Withdrawal from Niger

The US has until September 15 to complete the withdrawal

US Africa Command announced on Saturday that it has begun the process of withdrawing military assets from Niger as the US has a September 15 deadline to get out of the country.

“The US Department of Defense and the Nigerien Ministry of National Defense of the Republic of Niger announce that the withdrawal of US forces and assets from Niger has progressed from initial preparations to redeployment,” AFRICOM said in a joint statement with Niger’s military.

“This significant transition began with the departure of a US Air Force C-17 Globemaster III from Air Base 101 in Niamey on June 7, 2024,” the statement said.

The US has about 1,000 military personnel to remove from two bases in the country, Air Base 101 and Air Base 201. The American troops could be redeployed elsewhere in Africa, but AFRICOM said some of them “have already redeployed from Niger to their home stations as their mission contributions concluded.”

“Both US and Nigerien officials are dedicated to completing a safe, orderly, and responsible withdrawal by September 15, 2024. They emphasize their commitment to the protection and security of American forces during this process,” the statement added.

The US finally began its withdrawal months after Niger asked the US to leave. The Biden administration tried to negotiate a deal with the military-led government, which took power after a July 2023 coup, to allow a continued US presence, but the effort failed. A whistleblower told Congress that the initial US refusal to leave Niger put US troops in danger.

Nigerien Prime Minister Ali Mahaman Lamine Zeine told The Washington Post last month 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.