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Niger's junta revokes military deal with US

Niger's ruling junta has revoked with immediate effect a military accord that allows military personnel and civilian staff from the US Department of Defence on its soil, junta spokesperson Colonel Amadou Abdramane said on Saturday.

The decision follows a visit by US officials this week which was led by Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs Molly Phee and included General Michael Langley, commander of the US Africa Command.

Abdramane, speaking on television in the West African nation, said the US delegation did not follow diplomatic protocol, and that Niger was not informed about the composition of the delegation, the date of its arrival or the agenda.

He added that the discussions were around the current military transition in Niger, military cooperation between the two countries and Niger's choice of partners in the fight against militants linked to al Qaeda and Islamic State.

A US official, speaking on the condition anonymity, said senior US officials had "frank discussions" in Niamey earlier this week about the trajectory of Niger's ruling military council – known as the CNSP.

"We are in touch with the CNSP and will provide further updates as warranted," the official added.

Since seizing power in July last year, the Niger junta, like the military rulers in neighbouring Mali and Burkina Faso, have kicked out French and other European forces, and turned to Russia for support.