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Niger’s junta revokes key safety agreements with EU and turns to Russia for protection partnership

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Niger’s junta has scrapped two key navy agreements that the West African nation signed with the European Union to assist battle violence in Africa’s Sahel area


December 4, 2023, 4:09 PM

FILE – Nigeriens, some holding Russian flags, take part in a march referred to as by supporters of coup chief Gen. Abdourahmane Tchiani in Niamey, Niger, on July 30, 2023. Three West African nations led by navy juntas met this week to strengthen a newly shaped alliance described by some analysts on Friday as an try and legitimize their navy governments amid coup-related sanctions and strained relations with neighbors. In his first overseas journey because the July coup that introduced him into energy, Niger’s junta chief, Gen. Abdourahmane Tchiani held separate conferences Thursday Nov. 23, 2023 along with his Mali and Burkina Faso counterparts. (AP Picture/Sam Mednick, File)

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ABUJA, Nigeria — Niger’s junta on Monday scrapped two key navy agreements that the West African nation signed with the European Union to assist battle the violence in Africa’s Sahel area because the nation’s military leaders and a senior Russian protection official mentioned navy cooperation.

Earlier than the coup that deposed the nation’s president, Mohamed Bazoum, Niger had been the West and Europe’s final main safety accomplice within the Sahel, the huge area south of the Sahara Desert that Islamic extremist teams have changed into the worldwide terror scorching spot.

In a memo, Niger’s overseas affairs ministry stated the federal government has determined to “withdraw the privileges and immunities granted” beneath the EU Army Partnership Mission in Niger that was launched in February and consequently “has no authorized obligation” associated to that partnership.

It additionally dismissed the EU Civilian Capability-Constructing Mission established in 2012 to strengthen Niger’s inside safety sector, successfully revoking its approval for the missions.

The developments are the newest in rising political tensions between Niger and the EU because the July coup.

In a uncommon go to on Sunday, a Russian delegation led by Russia’s Deputy Minister of Protection Lounous-Bek Evkourov met with Niger’s junta chief, Gen. Abdourahmane Tchiani, and Minister of State for Nationwide Protection Salifou Mody. The 2 sides held extra conferences on Monday to debate navy and protection points.

“On the heart of the discussions is the strengthening of cooperation between the 2 nations within the subject of protection,” Niger’s protection ministry stated in a press release.

Most of Niger’s overseas financial and safety allies have sanctioned the nation, together with France, which had 1,500 troops working in Niger. All of them have been requested to go away.

Analysts say that though regional and worldwide sanctions to power the junta to reverse its coup have squeezed the nation, they’ve additionally emboldened the navy authorities because it consolidates its maintain on energy and seeks new partnerships.

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