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

Hezbollah Chief Says Does Not Want War But Ready for One

VOA's Jerusalem correspondent reports that with an Israeli election looming and Hezbollah's involvement in Syria, neither side appears interested in a wider conflict More

Multimedia VOA SPECIAL REPORT: Despite Danger, Best US Minds Battle Deadly Virus

Scientists at America's premier biological research center race to find effective drugs, speedier tests and a safe vaccine amid the deadliest outbreak of Ebola in history More

Kurdish Poet Battles to Defend Language, Culture

Kawa Nemir's work is an example of what he sees as an irreversible cultural and political assertiveness among Kurds in Turkey 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.
Egypt's Suez Canal Dreams Tempered by Continued Unresti
X
Heather Murdock
January 30, 2015 8:00 PM
Egypt plans to expand the Suez Canal, raising hopes that the end of its economic crisis may be in sight. But some analysts say they expect the project may cost too much and take too long to make life better for everyday Egyptians. VOA's Heather Murdock reports.
Video

Video Egypt's Suez Canal Dreams Tempered by Continued Unrest

Egypt plans to expand the Suez Canal, raising hopes that the end of its economic crisis may be in sight. But some analysts say they expect the project may cost too much and take too long to make life better for everyday Egyptians. VOA's Heather Murdock reports.
Video

Video Threat of Creeping Lava Has Hawaiians on Edge

Residents of the small town of Pahoa on the Big Island of Hawaii face an advancing threat from the Kilauea volcano. Local residents are keeping a watchful eye on creeping lava. Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video Pro-Kremlin Youth Group Creatively Promotes 'Patriotic' Propaganda

As Russia's President Vladimir Putin faces international pressure over Ukraine and a failing economy, unofficial domestic groups are rallying to his support. One such youth organization, CET, or Network, uses creative multimedia to appeal to Russia's urban youth with patriotic propaganda. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video Mobile Infrared Scanners May Help Homeowners Save Energy

Mobile photo scanners have been successfully employed for navigational purposes, such as Google Maps. Now, a group of scientists from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology says the same technology could help homeowners better insulate their houses and save some money. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Filmmakers Produce Hand-Painted Documentary on Van Gogh

The troubled life of the famous 19th century Dutch painter Vincent van Gogh has been told through many books and films, but never in the way a group of filmmakers now intends to do. "Loving Vincent " will be the first ever feature-length film made of animated hand-painted images, done in the style of the late artist. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Issues or Ethnicity? Question Divides Nigeria

As Nigeria goes to the polls next month, many expect the two top presidential contenders to gain much of their support from constituencies organized along ethnic or religious lines. But are faith and regional blocs really what political power in Nigeria is about? Chris Stein reports.
Video

Video Rock-Consuming Organisms Alter Views of Life Processes

Scientists thought they knew much about how life works, until a discovery more than two decades ago challenged conventional beliefs. Scientists found that there are organisms that breathe rocks. And it is only recently that the scientific community is accepting that there are organisms that could get energy out of rocks. Correspondent Elizabeth Lee reports.
Video

Video Paris Attacks Highlight Global Weapons Black Market

As law enforcement officials piece together how the Paris and Belgian terror cells carried out their recent attacks, questions are being asked about how they obtained military grade assault weapons - which are illegal in the European Union. As VOA's Jeff Swicord reports, experts say there is a very active worldwide black market for these weapons, and criminals and terrorists are buying.
Video

Video Activists Accuse China of Targeting Religious Freedom

The U.S.-based Chinese religious rights group ChinaAid says 2014 was the worst year for religious freedom in China since the end of the Cultural Revolution. As Ye Fan reports, activists say Beijing has been tightening religious controls ever since Chinese leader Xi Jinping came to office. Hu Wei narrates.
Video

Video Theologians Cast Doubt on Morality of Drone Strikes

In 2006, stirred by photos of U.S. soldiers mistreating Iraqi prisoners, a group of American faith leaders and academics launched the National Religious Campaign Against Torture. It played an important role in getting Congress to investigate, and the president to ban, torture. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Former Sudan 'Lost Boy' Becomes Chess Master in NYC

In the mid-1980’s, thousands of Sudanese boys escaped the country's civil war by walking for weeks, then months and finally for more than a year, up to 1,500 kilometers across three countries. The so-called Lost Boys of the Sudan had little time for games. But one of them later mastered the game of chess, and now teaches it to children in the New York area. VOA’s Bernard Shusman in New York has his story.
Video

Video NASA Monitors Earth’s Vital Signs From Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, is wrapping up its busiest 12-month period in more than a decade, with three missions launched in 2014 and two this month, one in early January and the fifth scheduled for January 29. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, the instruments being lifted into orbit are focused on Earth’s vital life support systems and how they are responding to a warmer planet.

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More

All About America

AppleAndroid