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End of 10-year operation: France withdraws all its troops from Niger

End of 10-year operation: France withdraws all its troops from Niger Illustrative photo (Photo: Getty Images)
Author: Daria Shekina

The latest French troops stationed in Niger have today left the country. This marked the end of a 10-year operation in the Sahel region of Africa, says Lieutenant Salim Ibrahim of the Niger army.

"Today's date marks the end of the disengagement process of French forces in the Sahel," he states.

As a result of France's departure from Niger, hundreds of American military personnel and some Italian and German soldiers remain in the country.

"France said it would pull out its roughly 1,500 soldiers and pilots from Niger after the former French colony's new ruling generals demanded they depart following the coup on July 26," the material writes.

Not the first instance for France

The outlet notes that this was the third instance in less than 18 months when French troops were expelled from countries in the Sahel.

They were forced to leave former colonies Mali last year and Burkina Faso earlier this year following military coups in these countries.

All three countries are grappling with a jihadist insurgency that erupted in northern Mali in 2012 and subsequently spread to Niger and Burkina Faso.

Operation Barkhane

The operation involved French armed forces in Mali, Chad, Burkina Faso, Mauritania, and Niger against Islamist terrorist groups in these countries.

British and Estonian military personnel supported French troops. Germany also supported French military personnel under the auspices of the UN mission in Mali.

On November 9, 2022, French President Emmanuel Macron announced the official end of the operation in the Sahel.

State coup in Niger

At the end of July, the security detail of Niger President Mohamed Bazoum staged a state coup. They took the head of state hostage and declared the overthrow of power.

Following this, the head of Niger's presidential guard, Abdourahmane Tchiani, declared himself the country's new leader.

Several African countries were ready to deploy their troops to Niger to halt the state coup.

The Niger junta accused France of deploying troops in several West African countries for military intervention purposes. They also called on France to recall its ambassador from the country.