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Pentagon Admits, U.S. Pressured Niger To Keep Russia Out, Instead U.S. Was Ordered Out

March 19, 2024 (EIRNS)—Pentagon deputy spokesperson Sabrina Singh yesterday admitted what was behind the demand of Niger’s ruling council, issued on March 16, that the U.S. military leave the country. The demand followed three days of meetings in Niamey with a U.S. delegation that included Gen. Michael Langley, the commander of U.S. Africa Command. “The U.S. delegation was there to raise a number of concerns…. We were troubled on the path that Niger is on. And so these were direct and frank conversations, to have those in person, to talk about our concerns and to also hear theirs,” Singh said, [reported The Hill]( Of note, pressed on what the U.S. issues were, Singh said officials “expressed concern over Niger’s potential relationships with Russia and Iran.”

While the fact of the order has been acknowledged in Washington, there seems to be no move yet to begin pulling out U.S. troops. U.S. Africa Command yesterday confirmed that about 1,000 troops are still in Niger, [reported Stars & Stripes, most at Airbase 201 outside Agadez in the north, with a smaller number at the airport in Niamey, where the U.S. also has a base.

The tensions between Washington and Niamey also have raised the prospect of Russian acquisition of a foothold in the region, S&S complains. In Senate testimony earlier this month, Langley said that Moscow is making aggressive moves in Africa and that a number of countries were “at the tipping point of actually being captured by the Russian Federation.” He said Russian operatives have taken advantage of unrest stretching across much of western Africa, which has seen a series of coups in recent years.