• World - Africa
  • Updated: October 05, 2023

Niger: France To Begin Withdrawing Troops This Week

Niger: France To Begin Withdrawing Troops This Week

France has stated that this week will mark the start of its soldiers being withdrawn from Niger Republic. 

Following a coup in the West African nation two months ago, there was a diplomatic rift between the two nations.

Protests broke out in Niamey, the country's capital, as France refused to recognise the new military government in its former territory.

France now appears eager to convey that it wants to leave Niger as soon as possible after standing its ground for months.

The first soldiers to depart, possibly beginning on Thursday, will be more than 400 soldiers posted close to the Mali border.

Another 1,000 soldiers are stationed in a military facility in Niamey, where protesters have been camped out for weeks calling for their withdrawal since they haven't been able to stop Islamist rebel attacks.

Although there was a decrease in terror attack fatalities in Niger last year, it is unclear what role the French had in this while aiding the Nigerien military forces in their fight against organisations with ties to the Islamic State and al-Qaeda.

It's too soon to tell if their departure will make security worse.

Nigerien military are among the best-trained in the region, and the US still maintains a drone station there.

However, since the coup, there have been several insurgent attacks, and the withdrawal of international forces from adjacent Mali has resulted in a sharp rise in hostilities.

As its final ally in the region, Western nations have spent millions on security assistance.

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