News / Africa

Niger Airs Concerns Over West's Libya Intervention

An F-16 jet fighter taking off from the NATO airbase in Aviano, Italy this week
An F-16 jet fighter taking off from the NATO airbase in Aviano, Italy this week

Multimedia

Audio
Julia Ritchey

Civil society groups in Niger are speaking out against the Western-backed military intervention against its northern neighbor Libya and the country's leader Moammar Gadhafi, where fighting between pro-Gadhafi forces and rebels has caused thousands of refugees to flood across its border.

Niger's government has yet to take an official position on the Western no-fly zone being enforced in Libya, but opinions in the rest of the country and the region are mixed.

Civil groups had planned a pro-Gadhafi demonstration last Friday, but were barred by authorities at the last minute. A similar protest in the capital of neighboring Mali last week drew thousands.

Several Niger citizens said they were angry with what they believe is an attack on Libya's sovereignty.

This man says it's a condemnable act and unreasonable and says that right now France and America are beating up on Libya. He says these are our brothers by blood and any problem that touches Libya touches all people of Niger.

Another man says he believes Western powers are after oil. He said Colonel Gadhafi may not be perfect, but at least he distributes the oil wealth to his citizens.

Some news reports have suggested Gadhafi may be using trained mercenaries from Mali, Niger and other African countries to fight anti-government rebels.

A political figure and former Ambassador of Niger to Libya, Bashar Issoufou, said it's important to understand that Gadhafi has spent years building a network of allies on the continent.

He says when Gadhafi first came to power he believed strongly in the idea of Arab nationalism, being influenced by former Egyptian president Gamal Abdel Nasser. But after President Nasser, he had problems with the Arabs and turned to Africa instead. He began pushing for a unified Africa with one government and one army.

Issoufou says he too is skeptical of the West's motives for intervening.

He says what happened in Tunisia and Egypt gave Western countries the perfect opportunity to take advantage of Libya's vast oil reserves. But he says as long as Colonel Ghadafi is in power, he will be controlling it.

Indicative of how the continent is split, the African Union on Tuesday pulled out of a London summit on Libya after its members could not agree over its position on Western-led military involvement.

Moammar Gadhafi is one of the largest donors to the AU. However, in perhaps its most vocal reproach of the embattled Libyan leader since the crisis began, the AU last week called for a peaceful political transition that leads to democratic elections.

A government spokesman says it is following the situation in Libya “with great concern.” The spokesman says officials are working with its embassy in Tripoli to repatriate and evacuate Niger citizens who are trapped in the country and to help refugees. The U.N. Refugee Agency says more than 10,700 refugees have fled from Libya into Niger, most of them women and children.

 

Follow our Middle East reports on Twitter
and discuss them on our Facebook page.

You May Like

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. More

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

Dropout rate at an all-time high in South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during 3-year civil war More

Tennessee Songbirds Fly Coop Long Before Tornadoes Arrive

Researchers say birds apparently alerted to danger by sounds at frequencies below range of human hearing More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacksi
X
December 19, 2014 12:45 AM
The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. VOA reporter Ayaz Gul visited the devastated school and attended the funeral of the principal who courageously tried to save her students from the deadly attack.
Video

Video Nigerians Fleeing Boko Haram Languish in Camp Near Capital

In its five-year effort to impose Islamic law in northeastern Nigeria, the Boko Haram extremist group has killed thousands of people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee. Some of those who ran for their lives now live in squalor on the edges of the capital, Abuja. Chris Stein reports for VOA.
Video

Video Putin Says Russian Economy Will Emerge Stronger

Russian President Vladimir Putin has said his country's sinking economy will not only recover but also become stronger, despite falling oil prices and Western sanctions over Ukraine. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video Detained Turkish Journalists Follow Teachings of US-Based Preacher

The Turkish government’s jailing of critical journalists has sparked international condemnation and is being seen as an effort to undermine the followers of an ailing Turkish preacher based in the United States. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video ‘Anti-Islamization’ Marches Increase Tensions In Germany

Anti-immigrant rallies in Germany have been building in recent weeks, peaking Monday night in the city of Dresden where tens of thousands of people turned out to demonstrate against what they call the ‘Islamization’ of the West. Germany has offered asylum to more Syrian refugees than any other country, and this appears to have set off the protests. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.
Video

Video Refugees Living in Kenya Long for Peace in the Home Countries

Kenya is host to numerous refugees seeking safe haven from conflict. Immigrants from Somalia face challenges in their new lives in Kenya. Ahead of International Migrants Day (December 18) Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.

All About America

AppleAndroid