Merkel pledges to support Niger against terrorism


Berlin (dpa) – Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU) has promised another aid from Germany to the West African state of Niger, which has been shaken by terrorism. “We know that the challenges are growing basically every day. And that is why I want to say that, naturally, we intend to stand by Nigeria with regard to the regional security situation, either bilaterally or in relation to the G5 Sahel states.” Merkel said on Thursday at a meeting with Nigerian President Mohamed Bazoum in Berlin.

Bazoum thanked Merkel and Germany, saying the country has become a major player in the security area. He added that the assistance of the German government has been adapted to the needs of Nigeria in the face of the rise of terrorism. “We especially appreciated the flexibility of the cooperation,” he said.

Merkel referred to the full spectrum of activities, ranging from development cooperation and humanitarian aid to the joint fight against smugglers and traffickers and security cooperation. He mentioned the “Gazelle” mission, in which German combat swimmers train Nigerian special forces and which is now part of the EUTM training mission.

Speaking about the situation in the Sahel region, Merkel said there are “big challenges” when looking at what is happening in Chad or Mali. “We are more pleased that a stable government under your leadership, Mr. President, is carrying out the work in Niger, in difficult conditions,” Merkel said.

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