Niger plans to deploy combat drones to monitor borders with Libya

A U.S. service member passes in front of a MQ-9 Reaper drone, one of a squadron that has arrived to step up the fight against the Taliban, at the Kandahar air base, Afghanistan January 23, 2018. Omar Sobhani

Niger plans to build a base for armed drones to strengthen its defence and security capabilities in combating terrorism and for closely monitoring the security situation across its borders with Libya and Mali.

Security sources told the local newspaper, Actu Niger, on Sunday that the drone base will be installed in the central region of the country, Tahoua.

The sources indicated that this project is part of the fight against terrorism by shifting toward a strategy of rapid response and effective crisis management as the country received the first Turkish-made drones last week.

Niger is working to strengthen the operational capabilities of its defense and security forces in order to deal with the security threats it faces, particularly on its borders with Libya, Nigeria, Mali, and Burkina Faso.

According to the same sources, six drones arrived at Niamey Airport from a Ukrainian air cargo company via two flights on May 20 and 21.

During his Tour to Turkey last March, the President of Niger, Mohamed Bazoum, visited the company manufacturing the “Bayraktar” drone.

Within the framework of strengthening military and security cooperation between the two countries, Niger requested Turkey to proved it with armored personnel carriers from the Turkish Nurol Makina company, in addition to the Bayraktar drone and the Hurcus light attack aircraft.

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