Italy to send 470 troops to Niger 

Italian PM says troops will help tackle people-smuggling

Italy to send 470 troops to Niger 

World Bulletin / News Desk

Italian Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni has said his country would send some 470 troops to Niger to help thwart the movement of African migrants to Europe, local media reported.

"We are going to Niger to respond to a request from the local government received early in December," Gentiloni said late on Thursday. 

He added the Nigerien government had asked for "an Italian contribution to do what we normally do in countries such as in Libya: strengthening territorial and border control instruments and strengthen local police forces."

The Italian PM noted that the aim of the mission was to fight illegal trafficking of migrants.

Niger, which borders Libya and Algeria, is a major corridor for migration between sub-Saharan Africa and Europe.

Nigerien authorities have yet to react to Gentiloni's statement. 

A civil society group, however, has condemned the prospective deployment.

"The problem is that despite the presence of many military bases on its territory, Niger does not escape attacks of terrorist groups," Maikoul Zodi, the president of the Young Republicans' Movement, told Anadolu Agency late Thursday.

Zodi said the government approved the deployment of a foreign military force in the country without "seeking the National Assembly’s opinion as required by the constitution". 

The Italian soldiers would be added to those of France, the U.S., and Germany, countries that already have several bases in Niger.

Niger, one of the world’s poorest countries, is also facing security problems in its southeast, where Boko Haram has carried out several attacks causing more than 280,000 people to flee their homes.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 29 Aralık 2017, 11:47