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

HRW: Egypt's Trial of Morsi ‘Badly Flawed’

Human Rights Watch says former Egypt leader's detention without charge for more than three weeks after his removal from office violated Egyptian law; government rejects criticism More

Photogallery Lancet Report Calls for Major Investment in Surgery

In its report published by The Lancet, panel of experts says people are dying from conditions easily treated in the operating room such as hernia, appendicitis, obstructed labor, and serious fractures More

Music Industry Under Sway of Digital Revolution

Millions of people in every corner of the Earth now can enjoy a vast variety and quantity of music in a way that has never before been possible 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.
Study: Insecticide Damaging Wild Bee Populationsi
X
April 24, 2015 10:13 PM
A popular but controversial type of insecticide is damaging important wild bee populations, according to a new study. VOA’s Steve Baragona has more.
Video

Video Study: Insecticide Damaging Wild Bee Populations

A popular but controversial type of insecticide is damaging important wild bee populations, according to a new study. VOA’s Steve Baragona has more.
Video

Video Data Servers Could Heat Private Homes

As every computer owner knows, when their machines run a complex program they get pretty hot. In fact, cooling the processors can be expensive, especially when you're dealing with huge banks of computer servers. But what if that energy could heat private homes? VOA’s George Putic reports that a Dutch energy firm aims to do just that.
Video

Video Cinema That Crosses Borders Showcased at Tribeca Film Festival

Among the nearly 100 feature length films being shown at this year’s Tribeca Film Festival in New York City are more than 20 documentaries and features with international appeal, from a film about a Congolese businessman in China, to documentaries shot in Pakistan and diaspora communities in the U.S., to a poetic look at disaffected South African youth. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more.
Video

Video UN Confronts Threat of Young Radicals

The radicalization and recruitment of young people into Islamist extremist groups has become a growing challenge for governments worldwide. On Thursday, the U.N. Security Council heard from experts on the issue, which has become a potent threat to international peace and security. VOA’s Margaret Besheer reports.
Video

Video Growing Numbers of Turks Discover Armenian Ancestry

In a climate of improved tolerance, growing numbers of people in Turkey are discovering their grandmothers were Armenian. Hundreds of thousands of Armenians escaped the mass deportations and slaughter of the early 1900's by forced conversion to Islam. Or, Armenian children were taken in by Turkish families and assimilated. Now their stories are increasingly being heard. Dorian Jones reports from Istanbul that the revelations are viewed as an important step.
Video

Video Migrants Trek Through Western Balkans to Reach EU

Migrants from Africa and other places are finding different routes into the European Union in search of a better life. The Associated Press followed one clandestine group to document their trek through the western Balkans to Hungary. Zlatica Hoke reports that the migrants started using that route about four years ago. Since then, it has become the second-most popular path into Western Europe, after the option of sailing from North Africa to Italy.
Video

Video TIME Magazine Honors Activists, Pioneers Seen as Influential

TIME Magazine has released its list of celebrities, leaders and activists, whom it deems the world’s “most influential” in 2015. VOA's Ramon Taylor reports from New York.
Video

Video US Businesses See Cuba as New Frontier

The Obama administration's opening toward Cuba is giving U.S. companies hope they'll be able to do business in Cuba despite the continuation of the U.S. economic embargo against the communist nation. Some American companies have been able to export some products to Cuba, but the recent lifting of Cuba's terrorism designation could relax other restrictions. As VOA's Daniela Schrier reports, corporate heavy hitters are lining up to head across the Florida Straits - though experts urge caution.
Video

Video Kenya Launches Police Recruitment Drive After Terror Attacks

Kenya launched a major police recruitment drive this week as part of a large-scale effort to boost security following a recent spate of terror attacks. VOA’s Gabe Joselow reports that allegations of corruption in the process are raising old concerns about the integrity of Kenya’s security forces.
Video

Video Japan, China in Race for Asia High-Speed Rail Projects

A lucrative competition is underway in Asia for billions of dollars in high-speed rail projects. Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Malaysia Thailand and Vietnam are among the countries planning to move onto the fast track. They are negotiating with Japan and the upstart Chinese who are locked in a duel to revolutionize transportation across Asia. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman in Bangkok has details.
Video

Video Scientists: Mosquitoes Attracted By Our Genes

Some people always seem to get bitten by mosquitoes more than others. Now, scientists have proved that is really the case - and they say it’s all because of genes. It’s hoped the research might lead to new preventative treatments for diseases like malaria, as Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Bible Museum Coming to Washington DC

Washington is the center of American political power and also home to some of the nation’s most visited museums. A new one that will showcase the Bible has skeptics questioning the motives of its conservative Christian funders. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Armenia and Politics of Word 'Genocide'

A century ago this April, hundreds of thousands of Armenians of the Turkish Ottoman empire were deported and massacred, and their culture erased from their traditional lands. While broadly accepted by the U.N. and at least 20 countries as “genocide”, the United States and Turkey have resisted using that word to describe the atrocities that stretched from 1915 to 1923. But Armenians have never forgotten.
Video

Video Afghan First Lady Pledges No Roll Back on Women's Rights

Afghan First Lady Rula Ghani, named one of Time's 100 Most Influential, says women should take part in talks with Taliban. VOA's Rokhsar Azamee has more from Kabul.
Video

Video New Brain Mapping Techniques Could Ease Chronic Pain

From Boulder, Colorado, Shelley Schlender reports that new methods for mapping pain in the brain are providing validation for chronic pain and might someday guide better treatment.

VOA Blogs