U.S. forces based in Niger are shifting from Airport 101 near the capital of Niamey to Airport 201 in Agadez, Pentagon officials announced today.
“There is no threat to American troops and no threat of violence on the ground,” said Deputy Press Secretary Sabrina Singh during a Pentagon news conference. “This is simply a precautionary measure.”
U.S. Africa Command ordered the repositioning of the forces. The U.S. forces in Niger have the mission to help the Nigerien forces combat terrorism and develop military capabilities. All that came to a halt when military officials deposed the freely elected president in July.
“What we’re doing right now is … repositioning some of our personnel and some of our assets from Airbase 101 in Niamey to Airport 201 in Agadez,” Singh said. “That’s just simply precautionary. Our force posture hasn’t changed.”
Agadez is roughly 920 kilometers by road from Niamey.
There are around 1,100 U.S. personnel in Niger who have been sidelined by the military takeover in Niamey. U.S. officials hope the situation in the country can be resolved diplomatically, Singh said.
“We’re hopeful that there can be some diplomatic way to resolve what’s happening,” she said. “We’re certainly not supportive of military takeovers of a democratically elected leader or government.”
Sept. 7, 2023 By Jim Garamone , DOD News