Niger’s parliament voted unanimously this week to send troops to join a broader coalition force. They’ll serve alongside troops from Nigeria, Chad, Cameroon and Benin. The Niger people are divided about whether their soldiers should be sent into the fight. CCTV America’s Asieh Namdar reported the story from Washington, D.C.
Niger joins new coalition to battle Boko HaramNiger's parliament voted unanimously this week to send troops to join a broader coalition force. They'll serve alongside troops from Nigeria, Chad, Cameroon and Benin. The Niger people are divided about whether their soldiers should be sent into the fight. CCTV America's Asieh Namdar reported the story from Washington, D.C.
The regional coalition envisioned to battle Boko Haram will be 8,700 troops strong. Niger is the latest country to join the fight. The country’s president said the nation must win.
“I say that Boko Haram has no future. We will, if God wishes it, defeat Boko Haram. Boko Haram has no future in our sub-region,” Niger President Mahamadou Issoufou said.
Boko Haram began launching attacks across the Nigerian border into Niger, as well as Cameroon. About 3,000 troops from Niger are already positioned along the border.
“It needs to be done soon because it’s really important for us to be able to protect the hopes of the nation, of Nigerians here. It’s a good decision,” health Worker Jean Afri said.
Even so, the decision to send troops across the border is dividing people in Niger.
“Perhaps by sending our military over there, Boko Haram are going to come over more often to do things that are not right. I don’t think it’s good,” teacher Mariam Kamo said.
Some living in southeast Niger fear Boko Haram has already begun to win the hearts and minds of young people there.
“Those young people are attracted by other offers, by other opportunities for work which are those offered by Boko Haram,” Souley Adji of University of Niamey said. “They may be diabolical offers, but without having a stable job, there is no choice for them. They have to go the way of the devil.”
Boko Haram has vowed to defeat any force mounted against it, no matter how large.
Emira Woods of ThoughtWorks discusses elections in Nigeria
CCTV America’s Mike Walter interviewed Emira Woodsm an associate fellow at the Institute for Policy Studies, about the fight against Boko Haram.