Niger welcomes its Russian military instructors

Niger welcomes its Russian military instructors

Russia is expanding its influence in the country, with the recent arrival of instructors and military personnel from the Russian Defense Ministry.

This Friday, Africa Corps, Wagner's successor in Africa, confirmed its arrival in the country. Nigerien public television Télé Sahel announced that it had attended on Wednesday “on the arrival in Niamey of an Ilyushin-76, a Russian wide-body aircraft, carrying the latest generation of military equipment with military instructors from the Russian Ministry of Defense on board”.

The Russian Federation will “to endow” Niger and “install an anti-aircraft defense system” able “to ensure total control of our airspace”said Nigerien television, showing images filmed at night of the Russian wide-body aircraft as it landed at the airport in the capital Niamey.

The Russian military instructors, whose number was not specified, “will ensure quality training” to the Nigerien soldiers “for efficient use of the said system”added public television. “We are here to develop military cooperation between Russia and Niger”, “train the Niger army and help it use the military equipment that has just arrived”, “equipment of different military specialties”declared one of the Russian instructors on this television. “The first flight with soldiers and volunteers of the African Corps has arrived in Niger”for its part wrote on Friday the Africa Corps group on its official Telegram account, where it claims to be an entity of the Russian Ministry of Defense.

Neighboring countries Mali and Burkina Faso have also ended similar alliances with France, among others, and have also strengthened their ties with Russia. Like Niger, these countries are ruled by a military junta and are battling Islamist insurgents linked to Al-Qaeda and the Islamic State. Three million people have fled due to the violence, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) said earlier this week.

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