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US builds a $100 million African drone base to fight Boko Haram

Central Niger is a key ally in the fight against militant extremists.
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The Department of Defense announced on Friday that it is investing $100 million in a drone base located in Agadez, in central Niger. The base will serve as a central surveillance hub in the fight against both Boko Haram and roaming militant groups linked to al Qaeda.

"At the request of, and in close coordination with, the Government of Niger, United States Africa Command is establishing a temporary, expeditionary cooperative security location in Agadez, Niger," a US Africa Command spokesperson told Reuters via email. "Agadez is an ideal, central location to enable ISR collection (intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance) to face the security threat across the Sahel and Lake Chad Basin region."

The US already has a military presence in both Agadez and the national capital, Niamey. With the establishment of this new drone base, which is located adjacent to an existing US airfield, those capital forces will likely transition to Agadez, centralizing America's ISR (Intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance) efforts in the region. Any intel gathered by these drones will be shared among America's regional partners including Nigeria, Chad and Mali.

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