Sep 26

France to pull troops out of Niger following coup

Reuters reports that France will pull its soldiers out of Niger following a July coup in the West African country, dealing a huge blow to French influence and counter-insurgency operations in the Sahel region. Macron said 1,500 troops would withdraw by the end of the year and that France, the former colonial power in Niger, refused to “be held hostage by the putchists”. France’s exit, which comes after weeks of pressure from the junta and popular demonstrations, is likely to exacerbate Western concerns over Russia’s expanding influence in Africa. The Russian mercenary force Wagner is already present in Niger’s neighbour Mali.