Russian Military Arrives at Niger Air Base Housing Some US Troops

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Written By Blue & Gold NLR Team





Russian military personnel have recently arrived at an airbase in Niger’s capital, Niamey, where a contingent of U.S. troops is stationed amidst an ongoing withdrawal of American forces from the country, confirmed Pentagon authorities.

Key Points

– Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, speaking from Honolulu, acknowledged the presence of Russian personnel at Niamey’s Airbase 101 but emphasized that they are housed separately and do not have access to U.S. troops or equipment.

– Austin reiterated his focus on the safety of U.S. troops and assured that there is no significant concern regarding force protection.

– An unnamed senior Defense Department official described the situation as “not great but manageable in the short-term.”

– According to the Associated Press, the Russian personnel at Airbase 101 are trainers who began arriving three weeks ago following Niger’s military junta’s directive for all U.S. forces to leave.


Niger witnessed a military junta seizing power last year, ousting President Mohamed Bazoum in a coup. Bazoum, a Western ally, had maintained a significant U.S. military presence in the Sahel region, aimed at countering Islamic militants with ties to al-Qaida and ISIS.

The junta, after taking control, expressed opposition to Western military presence while showing support for Russia and President Vladimir Putin. Following talks with U.S. diplomats, the junta declared U.S. military presence unjustified, leading to the agreement on the withdrawal of American forces.

Future Outlook

Approximately 1,000 U.S. troops remain in Niger, with most stationed at Airbase 201 near Agadez, over 500 miles away from Niamey. The Pentagon has not provided a precise timeline for completing the withdrawal, leaving the future of U.S. equipment and installations in Niger uncertain.

The situation underscores evolving geopolitical dynamics in the region and the shifting balance of power as different global actors vie for influence in Niger and across Africa.

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