U.S. Leaders Visit Niger’s Air Base 201

1600AGADEZ, Niger — General Thomas D. Waldhauser‎, Commander, U.S. Africa Command, visited Niger Armed Forces’ Air Base 201 (today) to meet with U.S. troops, members of the Forces Armées Nigériennes (FAN), and local civilian leaders.  He was accompanied by U.S. Ambassador to Niger Eunice S. Reddick.

“We are here at the request of and in close coordination with Nigerien government leaders to assist them in making improvements to Air Base 201,” said General Waldhauser. “Niger remains a strong and reliable counterterrorism partner, and we remain committed to helping Niger protect its borders.”

Ambassador Reddick commented that “U.S. government policy in Niger aims to solidify democratic, transparent, and accountable government, as well as to provide Niger with important development and humanitarian assistance to improve the country’s resilience.  The U.S. government’s ongoing support also helps Niger counter regional security threats.”

In terms of development assistance, Ambassador Reddick pointed to the recently approved $437 million Millennium Cha‎llenge Corporation Compact, which will focus on enhancing Niger’s agriculture, irrigation and related infrastructure, delivering benefits to as many as three million Nigeriens. The Ambassador also noted that USAID continues to assist Niger’s Parliament and Nigerien political parties to improve responsiveness and promote inclusive government.

The location of Air Base 201 in Agadez will improve our collective ability to facilitate intelligence sharing that better supports Niger and other regional partner nations, including Cameroon, Chad, Mali, and Nigeria in addressing shared security threats.  It will also improve our collective capability to respond to regional security issues.

The United States remains committed to deepening our development and security cooperation relationships throughout Africa, including by assisting our African partners in protecting their borders and fighting terrorism.