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USA resumes surveillance flights in Niger

The Pentagon announced on 7th September that it was repositioning its troops “as a precaution“, transferring certain soldiers from a base in the capital Niamey to an air base further north.

The United States has resumed surveillance flights over Niger that were halted in the wake of the military takeover in the country.

 The US Africa Command spokeswoman said on Thursday but other activities remain paused.

“We can confirm that US forces in Niger commenced intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) flights to monitor threats for purposes of force protection,” she said.

According to the spokeswoman, “We have secured approvals from appropriate authorities.”

she noted that the US always reserves the right to conduct operations to protect their forces and personnel, if required.

Although surveillance flights have resumed, exchanges with Nigerien forces such as training or anti-terrorist cooperation remain frozen, the spokesperson said.

Washington has some 1,100 military personnel in the country, but the Defense Department says they have largely remained on bases since the military takeover.

Writing by Abdullahi Lamino