US Repositioning Troops in Niger From One Airbase to Another: Pentagon
© AP Photo / Carley Petesch In this photo taken Monday, April 16, 2018, a US and Niger flag are raised side by side at the base camp for air forces and other personnel supporting the construction of Niger Air Base 201 in Agadez, Niger.
© AP Photo / Carley Petesch
WASHINGTON (Sputnik) – A coup took place in Niger on July 26. Nigerien President Mohamed Bazoum was ousted and detained by his own guard, led by Gen. Abdourahmane Tchiani. Later, on August 18, ECOWAS general staff chiefs set the date for the possible troops' deployment in Niger, which was not disclosed.
The United States is repositioning troops and assets in Niger from one airbase to another, but its general force posture in the region has not changed, Pentagon Deputy Press Secretary Sabrina Singh said on Thursday.
"What we're doing right now is the department is repositioning some of our personnel and some of our assets from airbase in Niamey to airbase in Agadez," Singh said during a press briefing.
Singh said the move is simply precautionary.
According to Singh, "non-essential" personnel and contractors left US military bases in Niger in July. The US Defense Department has some 1,100 personnel in Niger at the moment, she added.
The United States hopes the situation on the ground gets resolved diplomatically, Singh said, emphasizing that there's no immediate threat to US personnel or violence on the ground.
Moreover, Singh said US forces are not conducting joint operations or training with Niger's military at this time.
The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) has warned of the potential for military intervention in Niger if President Mohamed Bazoum is not released and returned to power. ECOWAS does not expect to reach an agreement with the Nigerien coup leaders in the coming days, according to French media reports.