The US has ostensibly become the sole ruler of the Sahel region, where the US intelligence agency (CIA) has set up a military base for unmanned aircraft in Niger so as to secure a solid presence in the desert strip, researcher Leslie Farran said.
The establishment of a military base for motorized aircraft is not “good news” for the people of the Sahel, which, she said, can be defined as the fate of the Afghan and Pakistani peoples, by the latter being vulnerable to drones warfare with all civilian casualties or so-called “collateral losses”.
The United States newspaper “The New York Times”, which published the study, revealed last September that there is a secret base for automatic aircraft not far from the region of Dirkou (northeastern Niger).
According to military sources from countries in West Africa, these American aircraft have launched attacks from the Dirkou base and are stationed somewhere on Libyan soil.
The current chaos in Libya has not legitimized these attacks, saying that this information provides an explanation of the US Administration’s “total and full” rejection of the inclusion of the joint force of the 5 countries’ Sahel Group including Chad, Mauritania, Burkina Faso, Niger, Mali and initiated by France, within Chapter VII of the Charter of the United Nations.
According to this specialist in African affairs, the CIA has, from this base, a “huge battleground” stretching from Libya to the south of Algeria through Chad up to the center of Mali, Burkina Faso and Nigeria and well beyond.
The same sources said that military sources from West African countries are wary about the use by the CIA of a “secret detention facility” in Dirkou.
The sources say that “nothing prevents Americans from transporting terrorists kidnapped from Libya” and that Dirkou can become “Guantánamo again”.
The newspaper quoted an intelligence officer, who did not reveal his identity, that the base is “illegal and that the CIA can do what it wants there”, as he put it.
Leslie Faran said that the United States’ use of the veto against the status of the joint 5-countries’ Sahel force under Chapter VII of the UN Charter” is becoming more understandable given the murky situation now prevailing in the entire region”.