Niger

The US Central Intelligence Agency’s drone program in Africa is expanding, the New York Times said on September 10.

Just south of the Libyan border, a covert military base in Dirkou, Niger has been deploying fleets of drones on surveillance missions for several months, a Defense Department spokeswoman, Major Sheryll Klinkel told the NYT.

Last October, four US soldiers — including two commandos —were killed in an ambush in Niger. Since then, talk of US special operations in Africa has centred on missions being curtailed and troop levels cut. But these claims are already being questioned, writes Nick Turse.

The military intervention that the United States political and Pentagon establishment never talked about is suddenly in the news after a joint patrol comprising 12 US troops and 30 Nigerien soldiers was attacked by a small group thought to be an ISIS affiliate known as ISIS in the Greater Sahara (ISIS-GS).

The incident itself was little mentioned until US President Donald Trump – after two weeks of silence on the matter – offended the family of soldier La David Johnson in a characteristically insensitive condolence call to his widow Myeshia Johnson.

The son of poor villagers in Niger, Bombino was set to come a long way to perform at WOMADelaide, the annual world music and dance festival held in Adelaide from March 6 to 9. His unique blend of desert blues and hardcore rock 'n' roll was sure to fire up this year’s main stage. Vanessa Powell spoke to the performer.

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Bombino, can you tell me about the traditional music of Niger? Does your music incorporate traditional styles?

For five centuries, Africa has suffered at the hands of the West. Starting with the slave trade, through the colonial era, to today’s neoliberal global economy, the development of industrial capitalism in the West has come at a terrible price paid by Africans.

Food riots in Mozambique early this month and looming mass starvation in Niger after floods that were preceded by years of drought both reflect the ongoing economic exploitation.

However, they also reflect another creation of the industrialised West adversely affecting Africa: climate change.

Two recent reports, released by NASA and the US National Climate Data Centre, have confirmed that last month was the warmest June since records began.

June was the fourth consecutive month that had broken temperature records, the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) said. Global monthly records were also broken in March, April and May.

June was the 304th month in a row that recorded a global average temperature higher than the 20th century average. February 1985 was the last month temperatures fell below the average.

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