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In Niger Local law enforcement benefit from US counter-terrorism training

This is in line with the goal of the State Department's Antiterrorism Assistance Program that is aimed at training local security forces to secure borders.

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Niger law enforcement benefit from US counter-terrorism training play

In this photo taken Friday, April 13, 2018. Nigerien police who are part of the U.S. Special Program for Embassy Augmentation and Response, known as SPEAR take part in the annual U.S.-led Flintlock exercise in Niamey, Niger. Amid questions over the role of the U.S. military in West Africa's vast Sahel region, the State Department is pouring millions of dollars into training local law enforcement officers in the hopes that extremism can be better countered at the community level. (AP Photo/Carley Petesch)

(The Associated Press)

The U.S. military’s presence in Niger has raised some eyebrows, but the impact they have made on the local law enforcement personnel has been helpful, according to Associated Press.

Some security experts say it is imperative following the killing of  four U.S. soldiers and five Nigeriens in an ambush by terrorists linked to ISIS.

According to the Human Rights Watch's West Africa director, Corinne Dufka, "it's important not to lose sight of the issues at the core of their proliferation and recruitment success, notably bad and often abusive governance.

"The Islamist groups are cleverly exploiting local grievances to make inroads with local populations."

The United States government is committed to investing in the training of law enforcement personnel as first responders in case of any security threat.

This is in line with the goal of the State Department's Antiterrorism Assistance Program that is aimed at training local security forces to secure borders and handle investigations to human rights and justice.

The US Bureau of Counterterrorism’s budget for training in sub-Saharan Africa is estimated at $106 million.

Also, the State Department counterterrorism programs in West and Central Africa, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Chad, Nigeria and Mauritania is estimated to gulp $50 million.

According to the Diplomatic Security Service Special Agent Kent Miller, who manages the Antiterrorism Assistance Program in Niger, "We train them for an eventuality.

"In the current year and last year there has been a focus on rural environments."

The training of law enforcement personnel in Niger is part of the Special Program for Embassy Augmentation and Response (SPEAR).

SPEAR was established following the deadly attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya in 2012.

Its objective is to train and equip the police force of host countries to enable them respond to security threats as first responders to U.S. diplomatic facilities in crisis.

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