France was asked to leave the country following a military coup in July. The French bases were isolated as Nigerien people surrounded them. Most French troops in Niger were stationed at an air base in the capital Niamey.
After a two-month-long resistance, the French President acknowledged the need for the withdrawal in a television interview. France had 1,500 soldiers in the country at that time.
This decision marked the third withdrawal in the Sahel in less than 18 months. Former French colonies Mali and Burkina Faso also asked France to leave the country following military coups.
There are approximately 1,000 U.S. military forces left in the country and several Italian and German troops, although they are not a source of contention at this time.
In October, the first troops to leave France drove to adjacent Chad to return home by plane or other means. Some French equipment will be moved from Chad to the Cameroonian port of Douala before being carried back to France by sea.
Overthrown president Mohamed Bazoum, France’s old friend in Niger, is under house arrest. France and the former leader Bazoom had agreed in May to allocate Niger’s Uranium ores to France—a nuclear source for power plants.
In October, a U.S. official stated that the U.S. had military personnel in Niger but was no longer actively training or assisting Niger soldiers.
Earlier this month, the U.S. stated that it was ready to continue collaboration with Niger on the condition that its military administration commit to a quick transition to democratic governance.
Niger’s rulers desire a three-year transition period to a civilian government.