Russian air defence system and trainers arrive Niger Republic

Friday, April 12, 2024
 – As part of Niger Republic's deepening security ties with Moscow, Russian military instructors have arrived the country with air defence system and other equipment.

Nigerien state TV RTN showed a Russian transport plane arriving at the airport in Niamey, Niger’s capital, saying “the latest military equipment and military instructors from the Russian defence ministry” had arrived.

It was also stated that Russia will help “install an air defence system… to ensure complete control of our airspace”.

One instructor was quoted as saying that “We are here to train the Niger army and help it use the equipment that has just arrived. The equipment is for different military specialities.”

Recall that after expelling French forces helping in the fight against terrorism, Niger’s military government agreed in January to step up military cooperation with Russia. France, a former colonial power, had frowned at the military takeover, while Russia advocated for Nigerien citizens to do what was “best for them”.

The Nigerien junta in March, also revoked an accord with the US government which allowed American troops to operate on two of its bases.

Around 1,000 US military personnel had operated from the country as of 2023, and the US government had also built a drone base that cost more than $100 million.

Neighbouring Mali and Burkina Faso are also turning to Russia for support to tackle the insurgency spreading through the Sahel region.

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