News is that Niger's military government just denounced the 2012 accord with the US that was the basis of the latter's base and operations in Niger.

“The government of Niger, taking into account the aspirations and interests of its people, decides with full responsibility to denounce with immediate effect the agreement relating to the status of military personnel of the United States and civilian employees of the American Department of Defense in the territory of the Republic of Niger,” Niger military spokesman Colonel Major Amadou Abdramane said in a statement on national television announcing the change.

Abdramane added that the agreement between the two countries – signed in 2012, was imposed on Niger and had been in violation of the “constitutional and democratic rules” of the West African nation’s sovereignty.

“This agreement is not only profoundly unfair in its substance but it also does not meet the aspirations and interests of the Nigerien people,” he said.

So, how was that 2012 accord agreed to in first place? Is there some merit to the claim it was in 'violation of the “constitutional and democratic rules”' of Niger? Yeah, that coming from a coup-installed military government is somewhat ironic, but still, does their claim the accord wasn't valid to begin with have some legal legs?

There's slighly more detail in an Italian source:

according to Niamey, the agreement itself, which was "unilaterally imposed" by the United States, through a "simple verbal note", on 6 July 2012, is illegitimate and "unjust".

(BTW, another news piece notes that that spokesperson didn't quite ask for the US troops to leave, so it's somewhat possible they're just looking to renegotiate the terms of the accord. OTOH the PM appointed by the military recently visited Russia and Iran.)

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    They also revoked an accord with the EU, in December. apnews.com/article/… Haven't found any (rhetorical) details about that one, whether they also claim it was unfair, unconstitutional, and the like. Commented Mar 18 at 13:29
  • And in Jan they expelled some EU[CAP] personnel agenzianova.com/en/news/… Commented Mar 18 at 13:43
  • I managed to find one of the three texts involved -- the SOFA. The other two ("Agreement concerning United States access to and use of facilities in the Republic of Niger" and "Acquisition and cross-servicing agreement, with annexes") are marked "NP" in the US index, which I'm guessing it means "not public" or "not published". Commented Mar 18 at 14:12
  • This is almost an answer: interestingly enough the Niger constitution appears to have made treaty ratification a one-man job: "Article 168. The President of the Republic negotiates and ratifies the international treaties and agreements." So, if that was still in force, the Q is whether the [former] president did that. Alas with [two of the] texts not public, I'm not sure. Also, somewhat unclear if he could delegate that job to the MFA, which seems to have happened in practice, at least with the SOFA. Commented Mar 18 at 14:37
  • OTOH, "Article 169 The treaties of defense and peace, the treaties and agreements relative to the international organizations, those which modify the internal laws of the State and those which involve [portent] [a] financial engagement from the State, may only be ratified following a law authorizing their ratification." So, it looks like defense treaties needed a 'law' too, but I'm not sure if this basing agreement qualified as such. Commented Mar 18 at 14:40

2 Answers 2


It was agreed to by the previous government and the current one does not like it. The government was elected in 2010, in 2021 a coup was attempted but failed and in 2023 a coup succeeded and took over the government.

This goes back to an earlier question that you asked about them expelling French troops but not US troops. I am guessing it was just a matter of prioritizing who they kicked out of the country first.

Has the Niger junta explained why they expelled French but not US troops?

Seventh Republic (2010–2023)

Following the adoption of a constitution in 2010 and presidential elections a year later, Mahamadou Issoufou was elected as the first president of the Seventh Republic; he was then re-elected in 2016.The constitution restored the semi-presidential system which had been abolished a year earlier. An attempted coup against him in 2011 was thwarted and its ringleaders arrested. Issoufou's time in office was marked by threats to the country's security, stemming from the fallout from the Libyan Civil War and Northern Mali conflict, an insurgency in western Niger by al-Qaeda and Islamic State, the spillover of Nigeria's Boko Haram insurgency into south-eastern Niger, and the use of Niger as a transit country for migrants (often organised by people-smuggling gangs). French and American forces assisted Niger in countering these threats.

On 27 December 2020, Nigeriens went to the polls after Issoufou announced he would step down, paving the way to a peaceful transition of power. No candidate won an absolute majority in the vote: Mohamed Bazoum came closest with 39.33%. Per the constitution, a run-off election was held on 20 February 2021, with Bazoum taking 55.75% of the vote and opposition candidate (and former president) Mahamane Ousmane taking 44.25%, according to the electoral commission.

On 31 March 2021, Niger's security forces thwarted an attempted coup by a military unit in the capital, Niamey. Gunfire was heard in the presidential palace. The attack took place two days before newly elected president Mohamed Bazoum was due to be sworn into office. The Presidential Guard arrested some people during the incident. On 2 April 2021, Bazoum was sworn in as the President of Niger.

Late on 26 July 2023, a coup by the military overthrew Bazoum, putting an end to the Seventh Republic and the government of Prime Minister Ouhoumoudou Mahamadou. On 28 July, General Abdourahamane Tchiani was proclaimed as the de facto head of state of the country. Former finance minister Ali Lamine Zeine was declared the new Prime Minister of Niger.

Nigerien crisis (2023–present)

On 26 July 2023, a coup d'état occurred in Niger, during which the country's presidential guard removed and detained President Mohamed Bazoum. Subsequently, General Abdourahamane Tchiani, the Commander of the Presidential Guard, proclaimed himself the leader of the country and established the National Council for the Safeguard of the Homeland, after confirming the success of the coup.

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    I know that the previous government was [more] democratically elected. This answer doesn't say anything about the accord though (and constitutionality thereof). Commented Mar 18 at 12:59
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    @Dolphin613Motorboat It is a simple matter of the government changing and not liking what the previous government agreed to. That is why they expelled the French troops and why they expelled the US troops. It makes it a lot easier for them to do if they make claims that says the deal was bad to begin with.
    – Joe W
    Commented Mar 18 at 13:22
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    -1 This does not answer the question as asked. Of course the agreement was repudiated because it did not suit the current government. The question asked specifically what the violation of the “constitutional and democratic rules argument is based on. Not on generic reformulations of well-known political methods of expediency. The stated reasoning behind the "fig leaf" are nowhere to be seen in this answer. Commented Mar 18 at 17:19
  • @ItalianPhilosophers4Monica And I am saying that was the excuse given to break the agreement.
    – Joe W
    Commented Mar 18 at 19:17
  • @CGCampbell Not sure what you are getting at with that statement and not sure what value trying to guess what some possible meaning of a statement is when as you state the real reason is known. To me it sure sounds like how can we say we don't like what the previous government did without saying we don't like what the previous government did.
    – Joe W
    Commented Apr 17 at 15:36

The Defense Status of Forces agreement between Niger and the US is very similar to those DSoF's of other nations, such as the one between the US and Cameroon and just about every other country where US troops are sent (other than where conflicts are actually occurring.)

As to why Abdramine made the statement "due to violations of the “constitutional and democratic rules” of the Niger’s sovereignty" well, no explanations digging further into the current Nigerian government's reasoning has been made available that I could find. The DFoS was essentially a boiler-plate agreement ensuring things like US personnel would not be taxed by the Nigerian government, and if crimes were committed (by US personnel) the US forces would be held by US leadership and not Nigerian, which is pretty standard for any country, not just the US.

Since the agreement was a mutual one, between the previous Nigerian government and the US, the current government there could simply have cancelled it, without the language they used. Because they used the (fairly adversarial) language they did in the announcement, I am of the opinion that the current government of Nigeria wanted to appear to be antagonistic to the US, so as to assist them in building ties to whatever other major power they want to approach, whether Russia, China or whoever.

As to the process used by the US Department of State in the build up to singing the Status of Forces Agreement, there is no easily obtained record, only the agreement itself. So, unfortunately, answering your questions is more akin to proving a negative than I would desire.

Perhaps someone else might be able to dig further into the actual laws and rules of Nigeria to find one or more that were violated, but I could not find any.

As such, it appears that indeed, this wording by Minister Abdramine was simply smoke-screen used to 'explain' just why Nigeria was removing US forces.

EDIT: I did find a fairly easily understood discussion of the Nigerian Constitution as amended to 2023, and don't see any part of it that were 'violated' by the establishment of the Status of Forces agreement. However, I am neither a lawyer nor diplomat.

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