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)

TEXT SIZE - +
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

Multimedia Anti-Keystone XL Protests Continue

Demonstrators are worried about pipeline's effect on climate change, their traditional way of life, health and safety More

Thailand's Political Power Struggle Continues

Court gave Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra until May 2 to prepare her defense over abuse of power charges but uncertainty remains over election timing More

Malaysia Plane Search Tests Limits of Ocean Mapping Technology

Expert tells VOA existing equipment’s maximum operating depth is around 6 kilometers as operation continues on ocean bed for any trace of MH370 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.
Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Messagei
X
Penelope Poulou
April 22, 2014 5:53 PM
Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Message

Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pro-Russian Separatists Plan 'Federalization Referendum' in Eastern Ukraine

Pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine say they plan to move forward next month with a referendum vote for greater autonomy, despite the Geneva agreement reached with Russia, the U.S. and Ukraine to end the political conflict. VOA's Brian Padden reports from the city of Donetsk in Eastern Ukraine.
Video

Video Pope Francis Hopes Dual Canonizations Will Reconcile Church

On April 27, two popes - John the XXIII and John Paul II - will be made saints in a ceremony at St. Peter’s Square. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky says the dual canonization is part of the current pope’s program to reconcile liberals and conservatives in the Roman Catholic Church.
Video

Video In Capturing Nature's Majesty, Film Makes Case for Its Survival

French filmmaker Luc Jacquet won worldwide acclaim for his 2005 Academy Award-winning documentary "March of the Penguins". Now Jacquet is back with a new film that takes movie-goers deep into the heart of a tropical rainforest - not only to celebrate its grandeur, but to make the case for its survival. VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports.
Video

Video Boston Marathon Bittersweet for Many Runners

Monday's running of the Boston Marathon was bittersweet for many of the 36,000 participants as they finished the run that was interrupted by a double bombing last year. Many gathered along the route paid respect to the four people killed as a result of two bombings near the finish line. VOA's Carolyn Presutti returned to Boston this year to follow two runners, forever changed because of the crimes.
Video

Video International Students Learn Film Production in World's Movie Capital

Hollywood - which is part of Los Angeles - is the movie capital of the world, and many aspiring filmmakers go there in hopes of breaking into the movie business. Mike O'Sullivan reports that regional universities are also a magnet for students who hope to become producers or directors.
Video

Video Pacific Rim Trade Deal Proves Elusive

With the U.S.-led war in Iraq ended and American military involvement in Afghanistan winding down, President Barack Obama has sought to pivot the country's foreign policy focus towards Asia. One aspect of that pivot is the negotiation of a free-trade agreement among 12 Pacific Rim nations. But as Obama leaves this week on a trip to four Asian countries he has found it very difficult to complete the trade pact. VOA's Ken Bredemeier has more from Washington.
Video

Video Autistic Adults Face Housing, Job Challenges

Many parents of children with disabilities fear for the future of their adult child. It can be difficult to find services to help adults with disabilities - physical, mental or emotional - find work or live on their own. The mother of an autistic boy set up a foundation to advocate for the estimated 1.2 million American adults with autism, a developmental disorder that causes communication difficulties and often social difficulties. VOA's Faiza Elmasry reports.
AppleAndroid