Hundreds protest in Niger demanding departure of US troops

Hundreds of protesters have taken to the streets of Niger’s capital to demand the departure of United States troops, after the military government further shifted its strategy by ending a military accord with the US and welcoming Russian military instructors.

Marching arm in arm through central Niamey on Saturday, the crowd waved Nigerien flags in a demonstration that recalled anti-French protests that spurred the withdrawal of France’s forces from Niger last year after the army seized power in a coup.

One hand-written sign in English read “USA rush out of Niger”, in a show of support for the military government and its decision in mid-March to revoke an accord that had allowed around 1,000 US military personnel to operate on its territory out of two bases. Until the coup, Niger had remained a key security partner of France and the US, which used it as a base as part of international efforts to curb a decade-old rebellion in West Africa’s Sahel region.



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