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Defense Official Says Force Posture in Niger Is Unchanged

The Defense Department's force posture in Niger has not changed, said Deputy Pentagon Press Secretary Sabrina Singh today.

An aerial photo of the Pentagon and surrounding buildings.
Photo Shoot
An aerial view of the Pentagon, Washington, D.C., May 15, 2023.
Photo By: Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Alexander Kubitza, DOD
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There are over 1,000 U.S. troops in Niger, and the U.S. embassy is still open, she said. 

"We have paused on an interim basis some security cooperation efforts, and we're not conducting military training right now, as things remain pretty fluid within Niger. And we continue to monitor what's happening on the ground there," she said. 

Nigerien Gen. Abdourahamane Tchiani, a former chief of the country's Presidential Guard, seized power from Nigerien President Mohamed Bazoum on July 26. 

The Defense Department has paused military training in Niger and has also paused some additional security cooperation efforts as officials continue to monitor events on the ground, Singh said.

The United States continues to urge a diplomatic and peaceful resolution, she said.

"The fact that our force posture has not changed sends a message that we're committed to the region. We're committed to Niger," Singh said. "The United States does not want to abandon Nigeriens that we've partnered with and that we've trained with over many years." 

Acting Deputy Secretary of State Victoria Nuland, who was in Niger yesterday, said she spoke by phone with Bazoum and met some of the military members who seized power in a push for a negotiated solution and restoration of democracy. 

Nuland also said she raised concerns during her visit about threats to the security of Niger if support from Russia's Wagner Group mercenaries is invited. 

In an Aug. 3 statement, President Joe Biden called for Niger's democracy to be preserved. "Defending fundamental democratic values and standing up for constitutional order, justice and the right of peaceful assembly are essential to the partnership between Niger and the United States. I call for President Bazoum and his family to be immediately released and for the preservation of Niger's hard-earned democracy," Biden said in the statement.


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