The United States is making preparations to evacuate a portion of its embassy staff and their families from Niger as the country faces political upheaval following a military takeover. A U.S. official revealed on Wednesday that plans are underway for the evacuation, though the embassy itself will remain operational with senior staff continuing their duties on-site.
The US government is preparing to evacuate US embassy staff from Niger – Politico pic.twitter.com/nTG1SjfsSO
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Niger, a crucial Western ally in the fight against Islamic terrorists, has drawn international concern due to the recent seizure of power by military officers. Foreign powers fear this coup could potentially provide an opportunity for militant groups to expand their influence.
The decision for a partial evacuation is driven by the escalating security situation. The official emphasized this move aims to ensure the safety of personnel in case conditions worsen, and clarified that core staff essential for embassy operations are staying behind.
Countries like France, the United States, Germany, and Italy have stationed troops in Niger to engage in counterinsurgency operations and provide training to local forces. In response to the evolving situation, both France and Italy are conducting evacuations of their citizens from Niger.
The first military planes carrying European nationals landed in Paris and Rome on Wednesday, underscoring the urgency of the situation. As of now, no official announcement has been made regarding the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Niger.
In Sudan, violent clashes between the military and paramilitary forces resulted in chaos and displacement. While the U.S. embassy in Khartoum suspended operations and evacuated government personnel, American citizens encountered difficulties leaving the country amidst the turmoil, experiencing a significant rise in incidents of theft and looting.
During the Sudan crisis, the Biden administration defended its decision not to deploy U.S. military aircraft for evacuation purposes. Officials at the time pointed to available space on foreign aircraft shuttling in and out of the country as a sufficient means to facilitate the evacuation of citizens.
As events continue to develop in Niger, ensuring the well-being and safety of both the embassy staff and our fellow U.S. citizens in the area should remain the government’s utmost concern.