Russia has sent military instructors to Niger, says Niger state TV

By Thomson Reuters Apr 11, 2024 | 4:30 PM

NIAMEY (Reuters) – Russian military instructors arrived in Niger on Wednesday in a plane loaded with military equipment, Niger state television RTN said on Thursday, citing an agreement between the junta and Russian President Vladimir Putin to boost cooperation.

It aired footage of a military cargo plane unloading gear as people in fatigues stood by.

“We are here to train the Nigerien army … (and) to develop military cooperation between Russia and Niger,” said a man in camouflage uniform, who RTN said was one of the instructors.

RTN also said Russia had agreed to install an anti-aircraft system in Niger.

The West African country’s relations with Moscow have been in the spotlight since the junta seized power in a coup last year and broke off long-standing military and diplomatic ties with France. That fuelled speculation it would deepen security ties with Russia like neighbouring Mali and Burkina Faso.

(Reporting by Boureima Balima; Writing by Alessandra Prentice; Editing by Sonali Paul)