Niger announces intensification of its military cooperation with Russia

Prime Minister Lamine Zeine has been on a diplomatic tour since Tuesday January 16.

While Niger is in financial difficulty, the head of government now wants to diversify its partners.

Thursday evening, he was expected in Tehran, Iran.

Before that, he visited Turkey and Serbia.

The first stage was Tuesday.

The head of government went to Russia accompanied by a large delegation, including the Ministers of Defense, Trade and Energy and Mines.

During this trip, the two countries announced the intensification of their military cooperation.

Supporters of the CNSP demonstrate with Russian flags in Niamey, Niger, August 11, 2023. AFP - -

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If Lamine Zeine was received by Alexei Overtchouk, the Russian Deputy Prime Minister, Salifou Modi, the Minister of Defense, spoke with his two Russian counterparts.

A conclusive meeting according to General Modi, interviewed by the Russian channel Sputnik.

Things are moving quickly.

We had previously had a certain number of meetings in Niamey and we finalized the projects here in Moscow.

Very soon, in the area of ​​capacity building of our forces, activities will begin.


According to a good expert on the subject, the discussions revolved around the acquisition of equipment by Niamey and the training of Nigerien soldiers.

On this last point, according to this same source, the idea would be for Moscow to train some of these soldiers in Russia and also to send experts to Niger, although the country has had Russian equipment since the Tandja era.

Read alsoNiger: Prime Minister Lamine Zeine visits Moscow

General Modi, a fervent promoter of rapprochement with Russia, specified during this same interview that, as part of the fight against terrorism, the leaders of the junta would soon discuss with their other partners in order to “ 

define the main lines of their participation or their presence on Nigerien territory


A little phrase that has not gone unnoticed, while the United States is still present in the country.

One more reason for Washington to keep an eye on Niger.

After the visit of the Nigerien Prime Minister to Moscow, the American Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs, Molly Phee, who visited Niamey in early December, explained that the partnership offer between Washington and Niamey remains on the table. table, under the same conditions.

We have proven that we can help them and their partners in the region tackle the threat of terrorism.

And it turns out that we also have a very solid economic record, which has contributed significantly to the development of Niger.

There has been a lot of discussion about putting in place a credible and timely electoral calendar.

There is of course also the release of President Bazoum, and you saw that earlier this month the junta released his son who was unjustly detained.


The American official assures that she has "no 

objections to countries diversifying their partnerships 

", but nevertheless specifies that "

if they choose to have a partnership with Russia

it will be complicated"



I think if they look just to the west, to Mali, and they see the increase in civilian casualties and the increase in attacks since the ruling junta in Mali invited the Wagner group and expelled the French, this is an example that most people would not want to follow when governing a country.

So, we hope they make the right decision.


Read alsoNiger: Washington says it is ready to resume its cooperation with Niamey, but under conditions


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