US secretary of state Antony Blinken announced $150m in new humanitarian aid for Africa’s Sahel region during a visit on Thursday to Niger, a country Washington views as an important ally in the fight against Islamist insurgencies. Landlocked Niger and its neighbours Mali, Burkina Faso, Nigeria and Chad are all struggling to repel Islamist insurgents who have killed thousands of people, displaced millions more and in some cases seized control of vast swathes of territory. Blinken’s visit to Niger is the first by a US secretary of state and a strong show of support for an impoverished nation that has had relative success in containing rebel groups and managed a democratic transition in a coup-prone region.
SOURCE: BUSINESS DAY LIVE
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