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Niger: Lawmakers vote to approve deployment of more European troops into the country

Recall that, Niger offered to host French troops after Mali demanded their withdrawal from the country following comments and behaviours from top French authorities which the Assimi Goita administration deemed disrespectful.

In a recent move to give formal recognition to the earlier decision, lawmakers in the country have on Friday voted to approve the presence and deployment of more European troops who form part of the controversial Operation Barkhane in the Sahel.    

The decision was taken after a long debate, followed by a landslide election in favor of their operation in the country. A total of 131 lawmakers voted in favour whilst 31 voted against motion.

Critics have considered the decision as a manipulated one, citing allegiance of the lawmakers. The decision was also seen as an assault on sovereignty and a clear indication that, the President Mohamed Bazoum government lacks the strength to man its own affairs when it comes to security concerns in the country.

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The presence of foreign troops in the Sahel region has over the years generated criticisms with residents in countries where their activities remain visible calling for their withdrawal. In recent near-fatal incidents, the youth of Burkina Faso faced off with French troops, holding them for days in the city of Kaya with demands that they leave the country.

A popular position among African youth is the believe that, foreign troops are plundering resources under the guise of “security support.” Many equally believe that they are contributing to the security crisis in the region by working with the jihadists whilst pretending to be fighting them.

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