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France completely vacates military base in northern Niger as military rule continues

France has completed the withdrawal of troops from a northern base in Niger as part of a planned departure from the West African country in the wake of July’s military coup.

Nearly 200 troops, 28 trucks and two dozen armored vehicles left the Ouallam military base, which has been handed to Niger, a junta spokesman, Col. Maj. Amadou Abdramane, said Sunday.

France’s withdrawal is expected to be complete by the end of the year. Some 1,500 French troops have been operating in Niger, training its military and conducting joint operations.

In the month after the junta seized power, violence primarily linked to the extremists soared by more than 40%, according to the Armed Conflict Location & Event Data Project.

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