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Italy's military mission to Niger wins parliamentary approval

Europe
17.01.2018
By our dpa-correspondent and Europe Online    auf Facebook posten  Auf Twitter posten  
Rome (dpa) - The Italian parliament has voted in favour of sending hundreds of troops to Niger to help local authorities fight terrorism and migrant trafficking.

The military mission, announced last month by the Italian government, foresees an initial deployment of 120 soldiers, and a maximum limit of 470.

Even though parliament was dissolved last month ahead of March 4 general elections, a special session was held at the Chamber of Deputies in Rome on Wednesday to pass a resolution backing the mission.

It was supported by the ruling Democratic Party and the conservative opposition party Forza Italia, while other opposition forces from the right and left voted against or abstained.

Defence Minister Roberta Pinotti told lawkamers on Monday that Italian troops would train Nigerian border guards and soldiers and would not have border patrol duties.

Niger, which borders Libya to the north, is a key transit nation for Europe-bound migrants, and is part of the wider Sahel region plagued by Islamist terrorism.

 

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