The United States has resumed its surveillance flights over Niger, which had been interrupted with the military coup at the end of July, a Pentagon spokesperson said on Thursday, specifying that the rest of American military operations in the country remained frozen.
“We can confirm that U.S. forces in Niger have conducted “ intelligence and reconnaissance ” flights to ward off threats and ensure the protection of our forces ,” said the spokesperson for the Pentagon’s Africa Command.
“We have obtained approval from the appropriate authorities,” she clarified, noting nonetheless that “the United States always reserves the right to conduct operations with the aim of protecting our forces and our staff, if necessary.
Although surveillance flights have resumed, exchanges with Nigerien forces such as training or anti-terrorist cooperation remain frozen, the spokesperson said.
The United States has some 1,100 soldiers stationed in Niger, who were operating against jihadist groups active in this region.
The Pentagon announced on September 7 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.