Blinken hails Niger as model of cooperation, promises to ‘deliver results’ in Sahel – The North Africa Post

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America and its Western allies should display they “can ship outcomes” in Africa’s Sahel area, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken has mentioned throughout his go to to Niger, pledging humanitarian help for displaced individuals and assist for the nation’s efforts to fight violent extremism.

Blinken’s journey to the West African nation — the primary ever by a US secretary of state — comes amid regional safety disaster and rising affect of the Russian Wagner mercenary group. Washington has pursued a “complete” method that focuses on safety but additionally “on good governance, on growth, upon creating alternative on being aware of the wants of individuals,” the US high diplomat mentioned in Niamey, the nation’s capital and largest metropolis, in an obvious effort to strike a distinction with what the Wagner Group may provide the area.

Throughout an earlier assembly with Niger’s President Mohamed Bazoum, Blinken introduced a raft of regional initiatives, together with $150m in new humanitarian help for the Sahel, bringing the whole to $233m for the fiscal 12 months, in keeping with the US Division of State.

Blinken’s journey to Niger follows his go to, earlier this week, to Ethiopia, which is seen as a part of a wider pledge by US President Joe Biden’s administration to higher interact with Africa.

To that finish, Blinken pledged the US help to make “Niger’s regulation enforcement more practical in combating terrorism, strengthening border safety, enhancing counternarcotics capability, stemming trafficking, and serving to to research, prosecute and in the end scale back terrorism and violent extremism.”

Blinken’s journey additionally comes amid rising disillusionment over European, and primarily French, involvement within the area, stoked partly by successive army coups in neighboring Mali and Burkina Faso. In 2022, French troops and a French-led European Union Takuba process power withdrew from Mali. French troops additionally withdrew from Burkina Faso in February.

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