US Troops Under Lockdown at American Base in Niger

US Troops Restricted to American Base in Niger

( – US troops in Niger have been formally restricted to their American military base in the Nigerien city of Agadez. The change comes as the White House attempts to restore President Mohamed Bazoum to power.

A US military official told CNN that nearly 1,000 American troops were sent to the military base on July 24. This mobilization occurred right after Mohamed Bazoum, the democratically-elected president, was violently seized by members of Niger’s presidential guard.

So far, the Biden administration hasn’t formally decided whether this case can be considered a coup d’état. This designation would require the White House to officially cut all military and foreign aid to Niger’s government. Experts believe this would be counterproductive as Niamey is an important US ally in Africa, and this would weaken its fight against terrorism in the region.

A State Department official explained that the White House is working hard to solve this case as soon as possible. The person also said that the agency could take advantage of the situation’s political ambiguity, as he said nothing is yet “set and concrete.” The official added there’s currently no unrest in Niger’s main cities as it’s all focused in Bazoum’s residence, where he’s detained.

So far, US officials have been stressing that the crisis in Niger is “fluid,” pointing out that their main focus is aligning with regional allies to restore democracy in the African nation. The military official told CNN that while Washington’s posture in Niger hasn’t changed, the Pentagon is engaging in “strategic patience” as it witnesses the situation and sees how it develops.

On July 23, US Colonel Dave Butler said in a statement that US Joint Chiefs of Staff Mark Milley spoke with his Nigerien counterpart. Butler said that the two leaders spoke about the current crisis in the African nation and the “safety” of every American in Niger.

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