Germany to Continue Operations at Air Transport Base in Niger

Germany has today reached an interim agreement with the military government of Niger to continue Bundeswehr operations at its air transport base which sits on the outskirts of the country’s capital, Niamey.

What You Need to Know:

Germany has maintained an air transport base adjacent to Niamey airport since 2016, through which it provided operations and logistics support to its contingents operating under the United Nations Mission in Mali (MINUSMA).

An announcement by the Nigerien government on March 17th of its intent to expel US forces operating at US Airbase 201 in Agadez with ‘immediate effect’ prompted various Western nations, including Italy, the US, and Germany, to dispatch their respective foreign services to the nation to engage in negotiations.

For example, on April 15th, a Falcon 8X operated by Munich-based company ‘Zeman Aviation and Logistics’ departed for Niamey. This specific aircraft, with the registration D-AAND #3C45C4, is utilized exclusively by the German Foreign Intelligence Service.

Thus far, the US has been unsuccessful in its attempt to hold on to its airbase 201, with the Nigerien government claiming the United States’ ‘condescending attitude’ and the threat of sanctions prompted the expulsion.

Moreover, the European Union has announced its decision to end its Military Partnership Mission in Niger (EUPM) on June 30th, 2024, as a result of the ‘grave political situation’ in the country.

The mandate providing for German operations at the airbase was due to expire on Friday the 31st, with Lieutenant General Gunter Schneider stating the interim agreement has enabled German personnel to remain at the base until August 2024.

So, What Now?:

The last German MINUSMA soldiers departed Mali in mid-December 2023. This raises questions about Germany’s future intentions for the base. Furthermore, under the interim agreement, the number of German personnel at the base will be reduced.

Most likely, German negotiations over continued operations at the base are an attempt to keep a diplomatic channel open between the West African nation and the West, as Niger continues to solidify ties with Russia, which acts as a ‘spoiler’ to Western interests in Africa.

Bianca Bridger
Bianca Bridger
Bianca Bridger is a Political Science Graduate from the University of Otago, New Zealand. Currently working as an Editor for The ModernInsurgent and writing for Atlas News, her interests include conflict politics, history, yoga and meditation.


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