• Niger: Another Weak Link in the Sahel?

    By International Crisis Group | September 2013 Threatened by the growing presence of trans-Sahelian Islamic militant networks, including those that destabilized neighboring Mali, Niger has increased military spending, border security, and troop deployments. Ties with France and the United States, which has based surveillance aircraft in northern Niger, have also grown due to fears of an international terrorist threat. Though such efforts have addressed short-term security vulnerabilities, they have come at the expense of vital social and development programs targeting Niger’s marginalized regions and inter-communal tensions. This risks alienating a population that still views the government skeptically after recent periods of authoritarian and military rule. Government policies should be rebalanced to renew and expand various national development initiatives.

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  • Overstating Terror in Niger

    By Andrew Lebovich, Foreign Affairs | August 2013 The Nigerien government is facing increasing security challenges following a number of terror attacks, an influx of refugees from neighboring states, and regional instability. Yet Niger should not be viewed as the next battleground of Islamic militancy - Niger is not Mali, its neighbor where Islamic militant groups seized large portions of the country in 2012. Niger has a vibrant multiparty, democratic culture, and, despite a history of military coups, organized free and legitimate elections in 2010. Further improvements to governance and broad-based development will reinforce Niger’s resilience against internal and regional terrorist threats.

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