Niger to send 850 soldiers to Mali

imgA contingent of 850 Nigerien soldiers is preparing to leave Niger soon heading for Northern Mali under the UN Integrated Mission for Stabilization of Mali (MINUSMA), a security source in Niamey said Tuesday.
The first convoy essentially comprised of logistical materials left Niamey on Tuesday morning while the rest of the troops will follow soon, the same source said.
The 850 soldiers from various units of Niger Defense and Security Forces will form the 4th Nigerien battalion to serve under MINUSMA for a period of one year.
They underwent an intense 10-week training program in Ouallam, 100 km north of Niamey, on peacekeeping operations in conformity to the UN requirements.
The training ended on Friday last week and each of them was awarded a certificate during a ceremony presided over by Niger’s Army boss, Gen. Seyni Garba.
Garba urged the Nigerien soldiers to redouble their vigilance and to always be alert. He further asked them to always remain disciplined while in Mali, just as they had always been in Niger.
Niger deployed its first contingent of 680 soldiers in Mali in January 2013, to help fight terrorist groups occupying the northern region and restore the country’s territorial integrity.

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