The US military has restarted anti-terrorism operations in Niger, following a temporary suspension due to a coup in July. Operations were reinstated over a month after the coup, with drones and other aircraft being deployed from different airbases in the region. This move comes after the Pentagon transferred some military personnel and equipment between bases, and successful negotiations with the ruling junta facilitated the resumption of intelligence and surveillance missions.
- A coup in July had resulted in the cessation of US military activities in Niger, with 1,100 US forces restricted to their bases.
- The Pentagon relocated some of its military personnel and resources from Niamey to Agadez, which is approximately 920km apart.
- Gen James Hecker highlighted that while not all missions have resumed to their former capacity, a significant number are operational following negotiations with the junta.
- Niger serves as a primary hub for US anti-terrorism operations in West Africa, with the US investing extensively in training local forces over the years.
- The region has witnessed heightened extremist activities, with groups like Boko Haram, ISIS in the Greater Sahara, and Al Qaeda affiliate Jama’at Nusrat al-Islam wal-Muslimin posing significant threats.