In Niger, the UN believes that it is necessary to “invest the full amount” to help the army

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres (left) and Nigerian President Mohamed Bazum (right) at the Presidential Palace in Niamey on May 2, 2022.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres confirmed in Niamey on Monday (May 2nd) that the international community “Need to invest deeply” to help the Nigerian army fight jihadist groups that affect it, as well as several neighboring countries.

“Today, I believe that, in view of the excellent performance of the Nigerian army, the international community must invest fully in developing the capacity of the Nigerian army.”Guterres said at a joint news briefing with Nigerian President Mohamed Bazum.

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According to him, this investment should concern “equipment”but also “training” Nigerian army. “You can count on me to do this propaganda on your side”he said. “Niger cannot overcome these many challenges on its own. African Union, ECOWAS [Communauté économique des Etats d’Afrique de l’Ouest]The G5 Sahel is an important player for peace, stability and development in the region. “added Mr. Guterres.

However, he acknowledged that the G5 Sahel, which includes Mauritania, Mali, Burkina Faso, Niger and Chad, “He was weakened by the coups that took place [chez] some of your neighbors »concerning Mali and Burkina Faso, where the military came to power in 2020 and early 2022.

“Absolute priority for the UN”

“As terrorist attacks continue to intensify in the Sahel and spread to the Gulf of Guinea, the international community must realize that this is no longer just a regional or African issue, but a global threat.”said the UN Secretary General.

He said he would continue “beg” as he did ” from the very beginning () to mobilize additional resources to solve this problem “. “Peace and stability in Niger and throughout the Sahel is an absolute priority for the United Nations”he clarified.

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President Bazum, for his part, said he had discussed the news with Antonio Guterres. “Perception of cooperation between Niger, the UN and its other partners” in the fight against “terrorism”.

According to him, the situation “Evolved and today it presents itself in a completely new light”. “That’s why we need to update the way we perceive the problem [terroriste] and how we should identify the means to combat it ”he added.

New foreign forces

In its fight against al-Qaeda-linked jihadist movements and the Islamic State group, Niger has the support of several Western countries, including France and the United States, which have military bases in Niamey and the Agadez region (north). On April 22, Nigerian lawmakers voted largely for a text that would allow for the deployment of new foreign forces in their country, including France.

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The UN Secretary-General, who embarked on a tour of three West African countries in Dakar on Sunday, will travel to Wallam, about 100 kilometers north of Niamey, on Tuesday to meet with displaced Nigerians and refugees from Mali and Burkinabi. fleeing jihadists. violence. He will then travel to Nigeria, the final stage of his tour of West Africa.

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World with AFP