US To ‘Temporarily’ Pull Troops Out Of Chad

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Days after agreeing to remove all its soldiers from the neighbouring Niger, the United States has said it will temporarily withdraw some of its troops from Chad.

The US Pentagon Press Secretary Maj Gen Pat Ryder said on Thursday that the US plans to “reposition” some of its military forces from Chad, but did not say how many would be affected or where they would be shifted to.

“This is a temporary step as part of an ongoing review of our security cooperation, which will resume after Chad’s 6 May presidential election,” he said.

The announcement follows Chad’s air force chief ordering the US to halt activities at an air base near the capital, N’Djamena, earlier this month, Reuters news agency reported.

Gen Ryder also said that talks with Niger’s ruling military junta, the National Council for the Safeguard of the Homeland (CNSP), began on Wednesday and are aimed at ensuring “an orderly and responsible withdrawal of US forces” from the country.

The US has relied on Niger as its primary base for monitoring regional jihadist activity.

But the junta, in power since last July, ended a military agreement that allowed US personnel to be deployed in the country and kicked out French troops, part of its efforts to cut links with the West.