The coup in Niger follows a pattern in which US-trained forces overthrow civilian governments in Africa. Journalist Nick Turse of The Intercept has reported extensively on this phenomenon and the general failure of the US anti-terrorist mission in the region.
The Biden administration admitted to considering how this might happen maintain its military presence in Niger after the July 26 coup that overthrew President Mohamed Bazoum.
Niger, as a platform for US operations in the Sahel, is home to about 1,100 troops and a large drone base that cost more than $100 million to build, called Air Base 201.
The United States did not declare the situation in Niger a coup because it would require a cut in aid and other support to its military.
Chain CNN reported on Thursday an option to maintain the Yankees’ military presence in the African country. In other words, granting a waiver to allow its operations in Niger to continue even if a coup is detected.
He in turn New York Times He commented on Wednesday as an option for the Biden administration not to call a coup and reach a deal with the junta to continue counterterrorism support.
Many of the Nigerian junta leaders were educated in the US. and have a long history of working with the U.S. military, including Brig.
General Mussa Barmou, who declared himself Niger’s new defense chief, worked closely with US special forces. He’s been in touch with several current and former US military officers over the years, according to CNN sources.
So far the junta has not asked the US to leave the country and there is hope that the US can cooperate with the coup plotters if it so wishes. At the same time, the US is demanding Bazoum’s reinstatement and supporting threats from the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS). Use force if the junta does not relinquish power.
Barmou met acting Under Secretary of State Victoria Nuland last week when she was visiting Niger. Sources told The Associated Press that the junta had warned Nuland that Bazoum would be killed if neighboring countries intervened.
The military operation in Niger follows a pattern in which US-trained troops overthrow civilian governments in Africa. Journalist Nick Turse of The Interception reported on this phenomenon and the general failure of the US anti-terrorist mission in the region.
As described in a current article, that the State Department counted only nine terrorist attacks across Africa in 2002 and 2003, the early years of US counterterrorism assistance to Niger.
“The number of violent incidents in Burkina Faso, Mali and western Niger reached 2,737 last year, according to a report by the African Center for Strategic Studies, a research agency of the Ministry of Defense. This represents a jump more than 30,000 percent since the United States counter-terrorism effort began,” Turse wrote.