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Niger

Last French troops leave Niger, ending decade of Sahel missio

user avatar Author: Editors Desk Source: France 24
December 22, 2023 at 06:51
French troops prepare for a joint mission with Niger soldiers at a French base in Niamey on May 2023. © Alain Jocard, AFP file photo
French troops prepare for a joint mission with Niger soldiers at a French base in Niamey on May 2023. © Alain Jocard, AFP file photo

The last French troops deployed in Niger left on Friday, an AFP journalist reported, marking an end to more than a decade of French anti-jihadist operations in west Africa's Sahel region.

"Today's date (...) marks the end of the disengagement process of French forces in the Sahel," Niger army lieutenant Salim Ibrahim said at a ceremony in Niamey marking the end of France's military presence. 

The French exit from Niger leaves hundreds of US military personnel, and a number of Italian and German troops, remaining in the country.

France said it would pull out its roughly 1,500 soldiers and pilots from Niger after the former French colony's new ruling generals demanded they depart following the coup on July 26.

It was the third time in less than 18 months that French troops were sent packing from a country in the Sahel.

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