USA resumes surveillance flights in Niger

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The head of Air Forces in Europe and Air Forces Africa, General James Hecker, has announced that the United States (US) military has restarted its activities in Niger, including the operation of drones and various aircraft from the country’s airbases

The operation which had been interrupted with the military coup at the end of July, a Pentagon spokesperson said, specifying that the rest of American military operations in the country remained frozen.

“We can confirm that U.S. forces in Niger have conducted “intelligence and reconnaissance flights to ward off threats and ensure the protection of our forces”, said the spokesperson for the Pentagon’s Africa Command.

“We have obtained approval from the appropriate authorities,” she clarified, noting nonetheless that “the United States always reserves the right to conduct operations with the aim of protecting our forces and our staff, if necessary.

Although surveillance flights have resumed, exchanges with Nigerien forces such as training or anti-terrorist cooperation remain frozen, the spokesperson said.

The United States has some 1,100 soldiers stationed in Niger, who were operating against terrorist’s groups active in this region.

The Pentagon announced on 7th September that it was repositioning its troops “as a precaution “, transferring certain soldiers from a base in the capital Niamey to an air base further north.

Africanews/Hauwa M.

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