US Troops and Russians Military Share Base 

Daily Report May 04,2024

American troops stationed in Niger found themselves in an uncomfortable situation after they were forced to share a base with their Russian counterpart.

According to U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin, Russian troops moved Russian military forces are now sharing space on Airbase 101, a facility in the capital of Niger, with American troops.

Austin made the revelation during a Friday press conference where a reporter asked him about a Reuters report that first revealed the presence of Russian forces on the base.

“In Niger, you asked about Niger and Russians being in the same space that we’re in in Niger,” Austin said. “I think you know that Air Base 101, where our forces is, is a Nigerian Air Force base that is co-located with an international airport in the capital city. The Russians are in a separate compound and don’t have access to U.S. forces or access to our equipment.”

Austin, however, played down any potential threat the presence of the Russian forces may pose to the American troops on the base.

“I’m always focused on the safety and the protection of our troops, something that we’ll continue to watch. But right now, I don’t see a significant issue here in terms of our force protection. Thank you,” Austin concluded.

Earlier in the day, a senior U.S. defense official, speaking on condition of anonymity, told Reuters that  Russian forces were not mingling with U.S. troops but were using a separate hangar at Airbase 101. According to the outlet, the military government of Niger had allowed the Russians onto the base, a move the senior U.S. official described as “not great.”

Since taking over the government in Niger in July, Gen. Abdourahamane Tchiani —the nation’s military leader— has moved to distance the country from her Western allies. Tchiani’s government forced France to withdraw the last of its troops from the country in December.

Niger’s military government has strongly expressed its desire to see American troops withdrawn from the country. All the efforts of President Joe Biden’s administration to negotiate with Tchiani’s government have failed so far.

“The U.S. presence on the territory of the Republic of Niger is illegal and violates all the constitutional and democratic rules which would require the sovereign people,”  Col. Amadou Abdramane said following a meeting with U.S. officials. “This cynical approach – usually used by the United States to discredit, demonize and justify their threat against the States – is reminiscent of the example of the second war of Iraq.”

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