There are indications of a possible spillover of violence into Northern Nigeria following the withdrawal of French troops from Niger Republic.
POLITICS NIGERIA reports that the withdrawal comes after the military junta overthrew democratically elected President Mohamed Bazoum two months ago.
Experts say the withdrawal will weaken Niger’s defence architecture, making the neighbouring country more vulnerable to terror attacks.
“French troops’ withdrawal will pose a challenge to Niger in their fight against terror groups,” said Dr. Abdullahi Mohammed Jabi, secretary general of the International Institute of Professional Security (IIPS).
“That would have been their back-up, but now they are pulling out. The withdrawal will further weaken the strength of Niger Military and make them prone to attacks because some of the international community structures are being withdrawn.”
Jabi warned that the development could make Niger a target for terrorist groups, similar to what has happened in Libya. He called on the Nigerian government to strengthen border surveillance and fortification to prevent any spillover violence.
The director of defence Information, Brig-Gen Tukur Gusau, said the Armed Forces of Nigeria was studying the developments in Niger Republic and would act accordingly to protect Nigeria and the continent.
“The defence headquarters is studying the development, the implication and the rest,” Gusau said. “So definitely if there is a need for us to act, we will. Of course, we cannot allow anything to happen to the continent. We’ll make sure that we do what the constitution empowers us to do, but at the moment, we are studying the development in Niger. There is no cause for alarm.”