US Troops to Depart Niger Following Gaetz Report of Troop Debacle Cover-Up

US Troops to Depart Niger Following Gaetz Report of Troop Debacle Cover-Up

Mateo Guillamont
Mateo Guillamont
April 22, 2024

The US has announced it will be withdrawing its troops from Niger following growing tensions with Niger’s government. 

The decision to withdraw also comes days after US Representative Matt Gaetz (R-FL) published a report outlining the abandonment of American troops in Niger by the US government. 

Representative Gaetz’s report contained interviews with American troops currently stationed in Niger who allege support from the Federal government has been scarce despite deteriorating relations with Niger’s government. 

Since the takeover of Niger by the "National Council for the Safeguard of the Fatherland" (CNSP, in French), negotiations between the US and Niger have broken down severely.

The CNSP has repeatedly denounced US presence in the country and requested America withdraw its troops. 

Consequently, American officials have been largely unable to travel to and from the country, frustrating the ability to fulfill US troops’ essential needs.

Gaetz’s report claims medical and hygiene supplies are running perilously low and that US troops are at risk of being targeted by Niger’s government. 

“With a military junta in charge—who detests our presence and considers us unseriousand predatory—the situation seems to be setting the groundwork for catastrophic diplomatic collapse like we saw during the 2012 Benghazi attack,” says the report. 

According to the report, US soldiers stationed in Niger have reached out for help to no avail. 

“Critical medications will run out for individual service members, they have repeatedly reached out for assistance but their strategic higher headquarters such as AFRICOM routinely overlook their concerns,” continues the report. 

The decision to withdraw troops was announced over the weekend. 

US presence in Niger was originally established to combat terrorism, specifically armed groups that pledged allegiance to al-Qaeda and ISIL (ISIS) in the Sahel region. 

Niger’s new rulers canceled the US and Niger’s military agreement last March. 

The State Department has yet to make any public declarations on the situation nor explain the reasoning for the decision to withdraw troops. 

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Mateo Guillamont

Mateo Guillamont

Mateo is a Miami-based political reporter covering national and local politics

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