Tue. May 28th, 2024

Russian military instructors have arrived in Niger to train the national army, as Moscow continues to bolster its influence in the troubled Sahel region of West Africa.

The military specialists, who arrived in Niger’s capital, Niamey on Wednesday, were seen unloading gear from a cargo plane.

“We are here to train the Nigerien army …[and] to develop military cooperation between Russia and Niger,” one of the instructors told Niger state TV RTN.

The military instructors are also bringing an air defence system, according to the broadcaster.

Their arrival followed a recent agreement between Niger’s junta and Russia to boost security cooperation.

The West African country has pivoted towards Moscow since the junta seized power in a coup last year.

It has broken off long-standing military and diplomatic ties with France and, like neighbouring Mali and Burkina Faso, is turning to Russia for support in beating back a jihadist insurgency.

By Joy

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