Tag Archives | military

Explainer: the role of foreign military forces in Niger

Niger is one of the most militarised countries in Africa. In November 2017, this came to wider notice when four American Special Forces soldiers and at least four of their Nigerien counterparts died in an ambush. Since then, the military presence has only intensified. Why are these forces there, whose interests are they serving and are they having the impact that was intended? The US is not the only nation with a military presence in Niger. France, Germany, Canadaand Italy also have troops in the West African country. In April this year, Niger hosted Exercise Flintlock, a military exercise that brought together 1900 troops from more than 20 partner countries. Sponsored by the US, it purported to develop capacity and collaboration among African security forces to protect civilians against violent religious extremism. Three main reasons are given for this military presence: countering terrorism, preventing migration of Africans to Europe, and protecting foreign investments. Read more Originally published on The Conversation

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Can AU Tackle Security Challenges in the Sahel?

African leaders meeting in Mauritania last week pledged to redouble efforts aimed at curtailing and defeating extremist groups on the continent, especially in the Sahel region. The pledge followed a rash of attacks by jihadi terrorist groups in two Sahel countries, including an attack that killed 10 Nigerien soldiers in the country’s southeast and an attack on the headquarters of the regional anti-jihadist G5 Sahel Force in Sevare and two other attacks in Mali. But some experts are warning that there is not much the African Union can do to enhance the capabilities of the G5 force that was established last year. Read more Originally published on VOA News

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