Russian Specialists Arrive in Niger to Train Local Forces on Combating Terrorism

NIAMEY (Sputnik) – In late March, Russian President Vladimir Putin and the chairman of Niger’s National Council for the Safeguard of the Homeland, Abdourahmane Tiani, in a phone call discussed “the situation in the Sahel region with an emphasis on coordinating actions in matters of ensuring security and combating terrorism,” the Kremlin said.

Russian specialists have arrived in Niger to train local forces on combating terrorism, a Sputnik correspondent reported from the scene.

“Now, the African corps here will be building relationships and jointly forming and training the Nigerien army. We have brought with us a training and material base to train various specialists. We have a lot of experience in combating terrorism. And we are here to share this experience with our friends,” a Russian specialist who arrived in Niger told Sputnik.

“The personnel is fully prepared and vaccinated against deceases, was acquainted with local deceases … I think we will manage,” a Russian medical worker who arrived with the specialists said.

Nigerian state broadcaster RTN aired the landing of Russia’s IL-76 aircraft in Niamey. The broadcaster reported that this came after a recent conversation between Putin with Tiani. While discussing the bilateral agenda, Putin and Tiani then expressed the intention to intensify political dialogue and the development of mutually beneficial cooperation in a wide range of areas.

The broadcaster reported that the arrival of Russian specialists includes the installation of an air defense system, adding that Russian instructors will provide quality training for the Nigerien military personnel on effectively operating the system.

In late July 2023, Niger’s presidential guard ousted President Mohamed Bazoum, closed borders and imposed a curfew. The guard’s commander, Tiani, proclaimed himself interim leader and the president of the caretaker National Council for the Safeguard of the Homeland and announced the denunciation of all military agreements with France. The withdrawal of the French military was completed in late December 2023.

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