International DevelopmentNews

Russia signs military cooperation deals with Nigeria, Niger

Russian President Vladimir Putin

MOSCOW–––The Russia Federation has entered into an extra ordinary military cooperation agreement with two African nations, Nigeria and Niger respectively.

According to two separate releases from the Russian Defense Ministry on Tuesday, the Russia-Nigeria deal allows Nigerian servicemen and women to be trained in Russia’s military educational establishments, it said.

The two countries will pay special attention to joint training of troops, exchange of peacekeeping experience, and fighting against piracy and terrorism, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said.

The Russia-Niger agreement “will promote further improvement of cooperation and strengthen the two militaries in the fight against international terrorism,” said the Russian Defense Ministry.

Shoigu held separate talks with his counterparts from the two African countries on the sidelines of the Army 2017 International Military-Technical Forum that kicked off Tuesday outside Moscow.

Analysts say the joint Russian – Nigeria military cooperation agreement will assist the Nigerian government defeat terrorism in the country.

Meanwhile, the Nigerian government is also working to ensure the total de-radicalization and rehabilitation of repentant Boko Haram fighters before full reintegration into society, defense chief Abayomi Olonisakin said Tuesday.

The defense chief said the government was willing to encourage more members of the Boko Haram terror group to surrender and embrace peace.

The defense informed reporters that there are 96 ex-combatants currently in camp in the northeastern state of Gombe, and about 565 women and children are expected to undergo a 12-week rehabilitation program very shortly.

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Michael Harrington

Michael Harrington is a researcher and senior contributing reporter with Globe Afrique Media.
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