News / Africa

Niger Says Libyan Instability Undermines Security, Economy

Immigrants, who are fleeing the unrest in Libya, unload their belongings in Agadez northen Niger September 15, 2011.
Immigrants, who are fleeing the unrest in Libya, unload their belongings in Agadez northen Niger September 15, 2011.

The instability surrounding the fall of Moammar Gadhafi is causing problems for some of Libya's neighbors, most notably Niger.

More than 150,000 people from Libya have already crossed the border into Niger. Some are ethnic Tuareg who fought in the Gadhafi army and are now fleeing revenge attacks under Libya's interim council.

Seeking help

The new civilian government in Niamey is asking for international help to better secure that long desert border and to care for such a large influx of people to a country that faces chronic food crises.

Ahmed Haidara, who heads a Tuareg Contact Group established by Niger and Mali to smooth relations between the Tuareg and Libya's new rulers, says the international community had the money for a war in Libya, so it should now assume the consequences. He says they should also find the money to help Niger face the insecurity now threatening its borders and find the money to finance development projects to best contain the influx of refugees.

Haidara says these are the consequences of a war that Niger did not want. So now Niger must find the best way to deal with its negative impacts.

Economic impact

Justice Minister Marou Amadou says the expense of increased patrols along the northern border are holding back Niger's development agenda at a time when the flow of arms across the Sahel could further destabilize a region where al-Qaida affiliated terrorists are already active.

Melegue Traore, a parliamentarian from neighboring Burkina Faso, met with political leaders in Niger this week to discuss regional security in the wake of the Libyan crisis.

Traore says the influx of weapons from Libya cannot but strengthen al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb. He says this is clearly a golden opportunity for them, an opportunity that he believes Western governments did not anticipate.

Regional stability

Shehu Sani heads Nigeria's Civil Rights Congress and is the author of the book Civilian Dictators of Africa. He says Gadhafi's fall threatens regional stability.

"There is no doubt about it. If a post-crisis program is not unfolded immediately for Libya, we may end up with a lot of crises in the West African sub-region,” Sani said.

Sani says Gadhafi's legacy as a patron of rebel movements in West Africa poses a direct threat to Libya's new leaders.

"The peace and security of the new government in Libya is dependent on their relationship with their neighbors," noted Sani. "Gadhafi has over the years built a strong relationship with almost all rebel movements in Africa, not only in the Sahel and Niger Republic. And as such, the only way to ensure that perhaps members of his own government do not use such persons to threaten the stability of Libya is to reach out to them.”

Growing instability in northern Niger threatens one of the country's biggest outside investments - the huge French uranium mine in the town of Arlit. Terrorists from al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb are still holding four French hostages taken from the mine during an attack last year.

You May Like

Analysis: China Raises Hong Kong Rhetoric to Tiananmen Level

A front-page commentary in The People’s Daily called the current demonstrations 'chaos,' the same word Party officials used 25 years ago to describe the Tiananmen Square protests More

US Airstrikes Anger Syrian Civilians Fleeing Their Homes

Pentagon officials say they have seen no credible evidence of civilian deaths caused by US airstrikes against Islamic State militants More

Child Sexual Exploitation to Worsen in SE Asia

Southeast Asia’s planned economic integration is a key step for boosting the region’s productivity, but carries downsides as well 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.
The Legacy of Jimmy Carter: The Preacher from Plainsi
X
October 01, 2014 10:45 AM
It is common in the United States to see tourists flock to sites associated with America's presidents. Some are privately owned and others are run by the National Park Service or the National Archives -- but most have helped draw business and people into the towns and cities where they are located. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there is one particular presidential hometown that is unique in what it has to offer those who make the trip.
Video

Video The Legacy of Jimmy Carter: The Preacher from Plains

It is common in the United States to see tourists flock to sites associated with America's presidents. Some are privately owned and others are run by the National Park Service or the National Archives -- but most have helped draw business and people into the towns and cities where they are located. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there is one particular presidential hometown that is unique in what it has to offer those who make the trip.
Video

Video Hong Kong Protests Draw New Supporters on National Holiday

On the 65th anniversary of the founding of Communist China, Hong Kong protesters are hoping to stage the largest pro-democracy demonstration since the 1989 Tiananmen protests. VOA's Brian Padden visited one of the protest sites mid-day, when the atmosphere was calm and where the supporters were enthusiastic about joining what they are calling the umbrella revolution.
Video

Video India's PM Continues First US Visit

India's prime minister is on his first visit to Washington, to strengthen political and economic ties between the world's oldest and the world biggest democracies. He came to the U.S. capital from New York, the first stop on his five-day visit to the country that denied him an entry visa in the past. From Washington, Zlatica Hoke reports Modi seemed most focused on attracting foreign investment and trade to increase job opportunities for his people.
Video

Video Malaysia Struggles to Stop People Joining Jihad

Malaysian authorities say militant groups like the so-called "Islamic State" have used social media to entice at least three dozen Malaysian Muslims to fight in what they call "jihad" in Syria and Iraq. As Mahi Ramkrishnan reports from Kuala Lumpur, counterterrorism police are deeply worried about what could happen when these militants return home.
Video

Video Could US Have Done More to Stop Rise of Islamic State?

President Obama says airstrikes against Islamic State militants in Syria will likely continue for some time because, in his words, "there is a cancer that has grown for too long." So what if President Obama had acted sooner in Syria to arm more-moderate opponents of both the Islamic State and the Syrian government? VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports from the United Nations.
Video

Video Treasure Hunters Seek 'Hidden Treasure' in Central Kenya

Could a cave in a small village in central Kenya be the site of buried treasure? A rumor of riches, left behind by colonialists, has some residents dreaming of wealth, while others see it as a dangerous hoax. VOA's Gabe Joselow has the story.
Video

Video Ebola Patients Find No Treatment at Sierra Leone Holding Center

At a holding facility in Makeni, central Sierra Leone, dozens of sick people sit on the floor in an empty university building. They wait in filthy conditions. It's a 16-hour drive by ambulance to Kailahun Ebola treatment center. Adam Bailes was there and reports on what he says are some of the worst situations he has seen since the beginning of this Ebola outbreak. And he says it appears case numbers may already be far worse than authorities acknowledge.
Video

Video Identifying Bodies Found in Texas Border Region

Thousands of immigrants have died after crossing the border from Mexico into remote areas of the southwestern United States in recent years. Local officials in south Texas alone have found hundreds of unidentified bodies and buried them in mass graves in local cemeteries. Now an anthropologist and her students at Baylor University have been exhuming bodies and looking for clues to identify them. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from Waco, Texas.
Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.

AppleAndroid