Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.


EU to send experts to Niger

17 July 2012, 09:38

 Brussels - The European Union is to send experts to Niger to train its security forces to fight al Qaeda, signalling the depth of EU concern over the growing threat Islamist militancy poses to Africa's Sahel region.

The mission, approved by EU governments on Monday, will start work next month in the Niger capital Niamey.

The rebel takeover in the north of Mali, which borders Niger, as well as an influx of weapons and fighters after last year's revolt in Libya, have raised fears about the stability of the arid Sahel belt of central and west Africa.

"Increased terrorist activity and the consequences of the conflict in Libya have dramatically heightened insecurity in the Sahel," EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton said.

"European experts will train (Niger's) security forces to improve their control of the territory and regional co-operation," she said in a statement.

About 50 international staff and 30 staff hired locally will be based in the mission's headquarters in Niamey, with liaison officers in Bamako, the capital of neighbouring Mali, and Nouakchott, capital of Mauritania.

The international staff will mostly be civilian security trainers from EU member states. The team will also have military expertise, EU officials said, but gave no further details.

Mali's March 22 coup precipitated the fall of the country's north to a mix of secular and Islamist rebels, who now control a desert region the size of France at the heart of the Sahara.

The rebel takeover has emboldened al Qaeda's north Africa wing, known as AQIM, as well as other foreign militants, including Nigerian fighters from Islamist group Boko Haram.

Officials in Niger, a major uranium exporter, said last month that plans for the EU mission had been brought forward because of the threat of militant attacks from Mali.

African leaders are seeking U.N. Security Council support for military intervention in Mali to end the rebellion in the north and reunite the Sahel state.

The European Union also approved a 23 million euro mission to help states in the Horn of Africa and Indian Ocean police their territorial waters to fight piracy off Somalia.

The plan involves Somalia, Djibouti, Kenya and the Seychelles and will be extended to Tanzania later.

Rampant piracy off Somalia has made the country's waters the world's most dangerous shipping lane, has secured Somali bandits tens of millions of dollars in ransoms and pushed up insurance premiums for ships.

- Reuters


Read News24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Read more from our Users

Nigeria @ 56: Words to my green f...

A leader’s job is not to dictate, but rather to be respected, admired and be a trustee, of the land we love, with so much potential, a land which should be freer than free. Its still a long way to fufilling our destiny! Read more...

Submitted by
Isaac Asabor263
Recession: An opportunity for Nig...

The recession should be seen as an opportunity for the country’s promotion as long as we all collectively conduct ourselves in a patriotic manner, writes Isaac Asabor.  Read more...

Submitted by
Black and White

We want to imitate the whites in everything because we are ignorant of our inherent originality and content. We spend all our Naira to acquire his inventions because we so oblivious of our natural endowments that we allow him have it for free. Read more...

Submitted by
Nate Nat
Adamawa State University Mubi: A ...

ADSU integrity forum has accused the Sunday Joshua Wugira, a lawyer, of adopting unorthodox tactics by abusing his privilege by attacking the integrity of ADSU Vice Chancellor Dr. Moses Zira Zaruwa, writes a News24 reader. Read more...

Submitted by
Abdulsalam Jubril
My Country Nigeria (Part One)

Poetry by Abdulsalam Jubril.

Submitted by
Abdulsalam Jubril
Recession, dearth in leadership a...

Every leader has the opportunity to become great and making himself immortal in the lives and hearts of people for generations to come. Will Mr. President seize this opportunity?, questions Abdulsalam Jubril. Read more...