Niger: Deployment of Hundreds of Turkish Mercenaries in the Country

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The Russian Wagner Group is not the only paramilitary organization operating in the Sahel. Another paramilitary company, Sadat, from Turkey, is also active in the region, especially in Niger. Within a year, Sadat has deployed several hundred mercenaries to defend and protect Turkish interests.

Some of these mercenaries have signed six-month contracts, while others have committed for a year. They earn approximately $1,500 per month. According to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, as cited by AFP, about a thousand mercenaries, most of whom are Syrians, have been sent to Niger over the past twelve months. Their stated goal is to safeguard Turkish interests and projects.

Despite denials from the Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, several sources in Niamey confirm the presence of these formidable operatives from Sadat. They can be found, for instance, in mines operated by Turkish companies in the Tillabéry region in the southwest of the country. With their fingers on the trigger, they also secure various road construction projects. Among their adversaries on the ground are jihadists attempting to disrupt the activities of foreign companies.

Does the Nigerien junta utilize these mercenaries? Officially, the answer is “no.” However, “since they also fight against terrorism, it suits Niamey,” commented a regional diplomat.

According to our information, another Sahelian country is currently negotiating with the same company to bolster the security of its presidential palace.

This situation highlights the complex dynamics of security and foreign interests in the Sahel region, where various state and non-state actors navigate a challenging landscape marked by terrorism and geopolitical interests.


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