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US to Withdraw All Troops in Niger by September

The US government has set a timeline of September 15 for the withdrawal of its troops currently stationed in Niger, per a joint statement by the Pentagon and Nigerien defense officials that was published on Sunday. This move comes after months of diplomatic negotiations and rising tensions between the U.S. and Niger’s military junta, which worsened when last month when Niger alleged that US presence is illegal under international law. The withdrawal plan includes the relocation of over 1,000 personnel and the dismantling of military bases. It will also see the expatriation of US weaponry deemed lethal, classified, or hazardous, although some will likely be left behind. It is expected to mark a significant shift in U.S. counterterrorism strategy in the Sahel region, where American forces have been combating extremist groups.