proposal for September on redistribution of

The two Foreign Ministers Catherine Colonna and the Armed Forces Sébastien Lecornu are on an official visit to Niger, which is now considered the new privileged partner in the region following the relocation of Barkhane outside Mali. Both were received by President Mohamed Bazoum, after meeting with his Nigerian counterparts Hassoumi Massaoudou and Alkassoum Indatou. Nigeria’s defense minister then accompanied them to the Tilabéry region, which is particularly vulnerable in the fight against terrorism.

with our special correspondent, Magali Lagrange

The Nigerian military base Ouallam, in the Tillabéry region, is the last stopover for French ministers. It is from there that joint operations of French and Nigerian soldiers are piloted near the Malian border. For the French Minister of Defense, Sébastien Lecornu, the willingness to continue cooperation has been confirmed, but we must think about follow-up, as the situation is changing on the ground.

“Security conditions are changing, they are already changing because the threats are changing, they are not the same depending on the borders. The emergence of paramilitary militias in the area or in neighboring countries is also changing the nature of this risk. So we need to think about a renewed security agenda.”

Also to listen : Niger / France: convergence of views on security and development

Ministers visited a center for the fight against child malnutrition. France also wants to focus its presence on development.

Also to listen : Catherine Colonna, Foreign Minister, is Saturday’s African guest

“It is the most important bilateral partner we have, both in terms of the volume of the French public assistance portfolio and in terms of its military commitment,” said Hassoumi Massaoudou, Nigeria’s Foreign Minister. We are in discussion to see the reorganization of the French forces in Mali and also of the European forces. “

No concrete message at the moment. The HR managers in each country must submit proposals by September.

In a speech to the press on Friday, Niger’s Defense Minister Alkassoum Indatou defended his country’s need for support in the fight against terrorism.

“When the war against the jihadists was imposed on Niger, our Nigerian armed forces had about 10,000 people. At that time, in the Nigerian army, we could not even have a man = a weapon. (Since then) the work has been done. In human terms, We have a great ambition: to have enough soldiers to be able to guarantee the security of our country. Today we are not yet at that point. In terms of equipment, we have done a job to get a minimum today, but we have not yet reached it. level we want to be able to ensure the integrity of our country and also defend our population against all attacks they are targeting.So we need a barrier, a force that allows us to continue our rise; a level where we will be able to cope without this help.

Listen to Alkassoum Indatou, Niger’s Minister of Defense

Also to listen : Barkhane, a forced retreat

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