France Makes a Key Decision in Africa

1 min read

The French Government has agreed to remove its forces from Niger, averting a bloodbath on all sides. Troops will be repositioned to

The fate of other African countries with coups also remains to be seen. Gabon, which went through an even more recent coup, is also the host of permanent French troops. The leader of Gabon, however, had much less legitimacy with his people than that of Niger’s. The New York Times reports:

France will withdraw nearly 1,500 troops from the West African nation of Niger by the end of the year, President Emmanuel Macron said on Sunday, a decision that could upend the West’s security footprint in the region, including the future of 1,100 American forces based in Niger.

In an interview on French television, Mr. Macron also said that the country’s ambassador to Niger would leave “within the next hours.” He added, “And we are ending our military cooperation with the de facto authorities in Niger, because they no longer want to fight terrorism.”

The fate of American troops in the region is also uncertain. More than likely, the new military regime will request the departure of troops. America has sunk close to half a billion dollars in propping up the Nigerian military. Reuters continues:

There are about 1,100 U.S. troops in Niger, where the U.S. military operates out of two bases. In 2017, the government of Niger approved the use of armed American drones to target militants.

It is unclear how much the United States has given in security assistance. The U.S. embassy in Niamey in 2021 said the Pentagon and State Department had provided Niger more than $500 million in equipment and training since 2012.

With France on its way out, Niger’s future direction is uncertain. Support from Russia will likely not go much beyond rhetoric. Terrorism in the Sahel could continue, but the absence of European forces might draw many low level insurgents to go back to their homesteads.

READ NEXT: Africa Suffers Another Major Shock


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Latest from Blog