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US troops should not be fighting in Niger, says President Issoufou

Thursday - 05/07/2018 10:31
Leader’s remarks follow botched raid in which five Nigerien and four US soldiers died last year
Mahamadou Issoufou: ‘We’re not asking foreign forces to fight in our place.’ Photograph: Ludovic Marin/EPA
Mahamadou Issoufou: ‘We’re not asking foreign forces to fight in our place.’ Photograph: Ludovic Marin/EPA

The president of Niger has said American and other foreign troops working in his country should limit themselves to providing training, equipment and intelligence, not fighting jihadists, in the wake of the botched raid in which five Nigerien and four US soldiers died last year.

In a wide-ranging interview with the Guardian, Mahamadou Issoufou also promised to quit as president when his second term comes to an end in 2021, committing not to abolish term limits and hang on to power.

Europe is not doing enough to support Niger in addressing the root causes of migration, Issoufou added. The west African country has long been a transit point for people from other parts of the continent seeking refuge or a better life in Europe, but in recent years the government has cracked down hard on the lucrative business of moving, feeding and sheltering them.

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 Key: Niger, US soldiers

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