Russia takes control of US army base in Niger

Russian military men kick US soldiers out of Niger

Russian fighters from the Africa Corps have been stationed at the air base in the capital of Niger, Niamey, right in front of the American troops stuck there. One could not even imagine that this could happen before.

The Niger authorities refused the services of the United States that built several military bases in the country, having invested half a billion dollars in Africa over the past six years "to combat jihadism.” The American contingent in Niger — 1,100 people — are ready to leave, albeit not in a hurry.

Niamey invited the Russians from the Africa Corps of the Russian Ministry of Defence to hurry them up.

A senior Pentagon official told Reuters that the Russian military had arrived in Niger and were stationed "in a separate hangar" at Air Base 101 located next to Diori Hamani International Airport in Niamey.

US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin confirmed reports about the deployment of the Afrika Korps to Niamey. The Russian military will then take the key $100-million airbase 201 in Agadez (the largest UAV base in Africa). One shall assume that Russia will take full advantage of the potential of this airbase.

Niger takes confident steps towards independence

Not too long ago, Niger kicked the French military contingent out too. The French military were largely involved in controlling the country's natural resources rather than jihadists.

France relies on as much as 50 percent of Niger's uranium that ensures 70 percent of its nuclear power. Yet, almost 90 percent of the population of Niger does not have access to electricity. French mining company Orano virtually monopolised the development of Niger fields. The Niger government will now be able to take control of this business — not immediately, of course, but gradually.

Kremlin's official spokesman Dmitry Peskov, when commenting on reports of the Russian military at US military bases in Niger, noted that Russia was developing relations with various African states in all areas including in the defence field.

"They are interested in this, and so are we,” Peskov said.

Russia wins the fight for Africa

Niger's recent experience shows that the world has changed a lot. France and the United States can now "calmly” sacrifice their stated goals and leave.

In 2023, the level of approval of the United States among residents of African countries decreased (to 56 percent), while the approval rating of Russia rose to 42 percent compared to 34 percent a year earlier. Russia enjoys strongest support in Mali (89 percent), Burkina Faso (81 percent) and Chad (76 percent), Gallup reports.

The Western slogan "We will give you democracy back” can now raise only indignation among citizens of African states. Libya and the Central African Republic are also loyal to the Russian Federation in the Sahel, which encourages Moscow to expand its zone of influence.

Why does Russia need this? No African country has imposed sanctions against the Russian Federation. This is also a huge pro-Russian potential in the UN. Almost 20 African countries want to host Russian military contingents on their territories. This is a huge part of the Global South, which is the future due to population and industry growth, let alone enormous resources. For many Western countries, this is the main and last resource reserve. This is an excellent opportunity for Russia to take this piece of pie from the enemy in conditions of global instability.

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Author`s name Lyuba Lulko
Editor Dmitry Sudakov