The US is repositioning troops and military equipment in Niger, CNN reported.
According to the news agency, a military official said troops will move from Air Base 101 near Niamey, Niger’s capital, to Air Base 201 in Agadez, in central Niger from which the US conducts intelligence and reconnaissance missions.
The US will also remove some non-essential personnel. It however did not state how many personnel will be removed.
Although the intelligence and reconnaissance missions have been suspended since the 26 July coup, the US has maintained its military footprint in Niger.
“The move was done out of an abundance of caution and it does not represent a significant change in the overall numbers of military personnel within the country”, CNN quoted the official as saying.
The US has about 1,100 troops stationed at the two air bases and the embassy in Niamey.
The move of troops and military equipment between the two bases – more than 450 miles apart – was done in coordination with the Nigerien military, the official said.
The US has yet to describe the political situation in Niger as a coup rather it continues to say that it is focused on diplomatic solutions.
The coup occurred at a time when the US had no ambassador in Niger. It later deployed Kathleen FitzGibbon to lead its mission in Niger where, according to the government, her diplomatic focus will be to advocate for a diplomatic solution that preserves constitutional order in Niger and for the immediate release of President Mohamed Bazoum, his family, and all those unlawfully detained.
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