Niger: Protesters Demand US Troop Withdrawal

Image copyright: USAFRICOM via Wikimedia Commons

The Facts

  • Protesters rallied outside Niger's National Assembly in Niamey over the weekend demanding American troops withdraw from the country amid claims that military cooperation had been unilaterally imposed by the US.

  • Leading figures of the ruling military junta as well as students were reportedly among thousands that gathered Saturday to demonstrate against alleged American imperialism.

The Spin

Pro-establishment narrative

The people's frustration over widespread insecurity is justified, but blaming the Western military presence in Niger is not. The junta is turning the population against the West while embracing Russia — not for effective counterterrorism but primarily to bolster its own rule through Moscow's military presence. Kicking out Europe and the US and replacing them with Russia will hamper the fight against terrorism, and protests against the Russian military are only a matter of time.

Establishment-critical narrative

Following the withdrawal of French troops from Niger, it's only natural that the people are now also calling for the US military to leave the country. Citizens are standing by the transitional government and no longer tolerate the occupation of Niger by Western forces under the pretext of fighting terrorism. All over the Sahel, people are rising calling for closer ties with Moscow, but Niger will not fall into the trap of replacing Western dominance with that of Russia.

Metaculus Prediction

Establishment split



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