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Algeria and Niger to ‘pool’ resources against militants

Niger was one of five Sahel countries to call for international intervention in Libya

Published: Updated:

Algeria and Niger are set to “pool” their resources to tackle the rising threat posed by militant groups in the Sahel region, Nigerien President Mahamadou Issoufou said on Monday.

“We have agreed to mobilize and pool our operational capabilities and intelligence to deal with terrorist threats and criminal organizations,” Issoufou said in Algiers after a meeting with Algerian counterpart Abdelaziz Bouteflika.

“Algeria and Niger share a 1,000-kilometre (600-mile) border and have large desert areas that need securing,” he added.

The leaders discussed the situation in neighboring Libya, which has been rocked by fierce fighting between troops loyal to the internationally recognized government and mainly Islamist militias, as well as in Mali.

Niger was one of five Sahel countries to call for international intervention in Libya, plunged into chaos since the NATO-backed ouster of strongman Muammar Qaddafi in 2011, “in order to neutralize armed groups”.

Algeria meanwhile has called for national dialogue and the strengthening of democratic institutions in the North African nation.