US Orders Withdrawal Of 1,000 Troops From Hostile African Nation After Negotiations With Regime Fail

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Jake Smith Contributor
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The Department of Defense(DOD) has issued formal orders to all 1,000 combat troops to withdraw from Niger, a war-torn African country that has become increasingly hostile to the American presence in the region, Politico reported on Friday.

Niger, ruled by a junta-backed regime, had made it clear in recent months that U.S. troops stationed for counterterrorism operations were no longer welcome and needed to withdraw quickly, a request that the Biden administration granted in April. Behind the scenes, however, the Biden administration had been working to reach a deal with the junta to keep some troops in Niger; after this effort failed, the Pentagon ordered a full withdrawal for all troops in Niger, putting an end to all U.S. ground-based counterterrorism efforts in the Sahel region, according to Politico. (RELATED: Rep. Matt Gaetz Releases Report Alleging Cover-Up Of Stranded US Troops Overseas)

The 1,000 stationed U.S. combat troops will begin leaving Niger within the next several months, although the timeline could shift depending on circumstances, one U.S. official told Politico. The troops will move to other locations in the region where they can conduct operations until they are evacuated; evacuation efforts will not include U.S. embassy personnel.

The U.S. has had a counterterrorism presence in Niger since 2013 to fight radical jihadism in the Sahel. Niger’s democratic government was overthrown by a military-led junta in 2023, which created its own government and rejected the U.S.’ presence while welcoming Russian forces to provide security operations.

Calls for the U.S. to withdraw from the region have peaked in recent months, with mass protests breaking out across the region demanding that the American forces leave. Troops have been mostly holed up in a U.S. airbase in Niger that has reportedly had reduced access to essential resources, such as medicine and equipment, and limited communication with the DOD or the State Department, as the Junta has refused to allow diplomatic flights to enter the country.

Several defense experts and former U.S. officials who previously spoke to the Daily Caller News Foundation said the situation had become so volatile that the troops needed to evacuate as quickly as possible for their own safety.

“If you don’t want to see another Benghazi or another Mogadishu, these guys got to go,” Michael DiMino, a senior fellow at Defense Priorities and former CIA officer, told the DCNF, referring to previous incidents in which U.S. forces in Libya and Somalia came under attack and were killed by militants in 2012 and 1993. “ “It’s gotten so dire that the only question is, can we stay or not without American troops being overwhelmed… I don’t think our interests in the Sahel are great enough to demand the sacrifice of our men and women.”

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