News / Africa

Niger to Protect Citizens From Libyan Conflict Spillover, Says Official

A man waves a white flag from a car loaded with his family and their belongings at a rebel checkpoint 99 miles (160 kilometers) from Sirte, Libya, August 28, 2011
A man waves a white flag from a car loaded with his family and their belongings at a rebel checkpoint 99 miles (160 kilometers) from Sirte, Libya, August 28, 2011

Multimedia

Audio
  • Clottey interview with Sani Iro,communications director for Niger’s ruling Party for Democracy and Socialism (PNDS-Tarayya)

Peter Clottey

A leading member of Niger’s ruling Party for Democracy and Socialism (PNDS-Tarayya) says the government is stepping up efforts to combat any security threat posed by a spillover of the conflict in neighboring Libya.

Sani Iro, the party’s communications director, said the administration has provided additional military equipment to the national army to protect unarmed civilians in the northern border region, Niger shares with Libya.

“Since the [new civilian] government took over, it has made sure that security is reinforced mainly in the northern part of the country. And that is why the first thing that was done was a visit by the defense minister to that area,” said Iro. “The government promised it will meet all the needs of the security forces there….”

Iro’s comments follow reports that residents in northern Niger are concerned that hundreds of Tuaregs from Libya are returning home with sophisticated weapons.

The Tuaregs are suspected of being part of the Libyan army and loyalists who fought for deposed Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi.

Security experts warn the proliferation of arms could destabilize the region.

“The Niger army [seized] some vehicles coming from Libya with arms,” said Iro. “Just some weeks ago, the army [also] stopped more than 60 vehicles coming from Libya… This shows that the Nigerien army is trying and succeeding [in facing] this difficulty.”

He expressed confidence the military is capable of “stabilizing the region and tackling the challenge of security in the north of our country.”

Iro said Prime Minister Brigi Rafini is touring the border region, including the areas of Agadez and Diffa, to assure residents there of his administration’s determination to protect them from any aggression.

An estimated 211,000 Nigeriens have so far returned home after fleeing the conflict in Libya.

They have come home to food shortages, and to fragile economy.

Iro said the administration has a “true” challenge providing relief supplies.

“It’s a real problem with this [returning] population coming back from Libya. And it is a problem to receive these people and to try help them with food and water,” said Iro. “The government doesn’t have the means to give work to all these people, but what we try to do is to help them to go back to their villages, so that they can insert themselves in the local economy.”

You May Like

Video One Year After Thai Coup, No End in Sight for Military Rule

Since carrying out the May 22, 2014 coup, the general has retired from the military but is still firmly in charge More

Goodbye, New York

This is what the fastest-growing big cities in America have in common More

Job-Seeking Bangladeshis Risk Lives to Find Work

The number of Bangladeshi migrants on smugglers’ boats bound for Southeast Asian countries has soared in the past two years 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.
Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthroughi
X
May 22, 2015 10:23 AM
Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthrough

Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Europe Follows US Lead in Tackling ‘Conflict Minerals’

Metals mined from conflict zones in places like the Democratic Republic of Congo are often sold by warlords to buy weapons. This week European lawmakers voted to force manufacturers to prove that their supply chains are not inadvertently fueling conflicts and human rights abuses. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Class Tackles Questions of Race, Discrimination

Unrest in some U.S. cities is more than just a trending news item at Ladue Middle School in St. Louis, Missouri. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, it’s a focus of a multicultural studies class engaging students in wide-ranging discussions about racial tensions and police aggression.
Video

Video Mind-Controlled Prosthetics Are Getting Closer

Scientists and engineers are making substantial advances towards the ultimate goal in prosthetics – creation of limbs that can be controlled by the wearer’s mind. Thanks to sophisticated sensors capable of picking up the brain’s signals, an amputee in Iceland is literally bringing us one step closer to that goal. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Afghan Economy Sinks As Foreign Troops Depart

As international troops prepare to leave Afghanistan, and many foreign aid groups follow, Afghans are grappling with how the exodus will affect the country's fragile economy. Ayesha Tanzeem reports from the Afghan capital, Kabul.
Video

Video Poverty, Ignorance Force Underage Girls Into Marriage

The recent marriage of a 17-year old Chechen girl to a local police chief who was 30 years older and already had a wife caused an outcry in Russia and beyond. The bride was reportedly forced to marry and her parents were intimidated into giving their consent. The union spotlighted yet again the plight of many underage girls in developing countries. Zlatica Hoke reports poverty, ignorance and fear are behind the practice, especially in Asia and Africa.
Video

Video South Korea Marks Gwangju Uprising Anniversary

South Korea this week marked the 35th anniversary of a protest that turned deadly. The Gwangju Uprising is credited with starting the country’s democratic revolution after it was violently quelled by South Korea’s former military rulers. But as Jason Strother reports, some observers worry that democracy has recently been eroded.
Video

Video California’s Water System Not Created To Handle Current Drought

The drought in California is moving into its fourth year. While the state's governor is mandating a reduction in urban water use, most of the water used in California is for agriculture. But both city dwellers and farmers are feeling the impact of the drought. Some experts say the state’s water system was not created to handle long periods of drought. Elizabeth Lee reports from Ventura County, an agricultural region just northwest of Los Angeles.
Video

Video How to Clone a Mammoth: The Science of De-Extinction

An international team of scientists has sequenced the complete genome of the woolly mammoth. Led by the Swedish Museum of Natural History in Stockholm, the work opens the door to recreate the huge herbivore, which last roamed the Earth 4,000 years ago. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble considers the science of de-extinction and its place on the planet
Video

Video Blind Boy Defines His Life with Music

Cole Moran was born blind. He also has cognitive delays and other birth defects. He has to learn everything by ear. Nevertheless, the 12-year-old has had an insatiable love for music since he was born. VOA’s June Soh introduces us to the young phenomenal harmonica player.

VOA Blogs