Italy donates a pair of refurbished AB-412 helicopters to Niger

  • October 21, 2022
  • 3 Min Read

Italian Defence Minister Lorenzo Guerini visited Niger to meet with the President of the Republic, Mohamed Bazoum, and Defence Minister Alkassoum Indattou. Subsequently, Guerini spoke to the Italian contingent deployed in Niger within the Bilateral Mission in Support of Niger (MISIN).

“Italy wants to provide a continued active contribution to security in the Sahel by accompanying Niger in its commitment to fight terrorism.”, Defence Minister Lorenzo Guerini stated today during his meeting with the President of the Republic of Niger, Mohamed Bazoum.

Niger, and  Defence Minister Alkassoum Indattou. “The Sahel- Minister Guerini said- is an area of great strategic importance for Italy. Its dynamics have direct effects on the entire African continent as well as the Mediterranean and Europe. That is one of the resons why our country wants to strengthen its structured bilateral cooperation with Niger, thus moving forward with the ongoing productive dialogue established some years ago.”

Italy, in fact, has deployed a Bilateral  Mission in support of the Republic of Niger (MISIN), aimed to increase the capacity of the authorities of Niger and other countries -parties to the G5-Sahel Initiative- to counter illegal trafficking and security threats. The donation of two refurbished helicopters by Agenzia Industrie Difesa, A.I.D. took place within that contex. From the livery you can see that they are basically two former helicopters of the Italian Custom Police (Guardia di Finanza).

During his visit in Niger Minister Guerini, accompanied by Italian Ambassador  Emilia Gatto and Chief of Defence Staff, Adm. Cavo Dragone, expressed Italy’s intention to “continue with its commitment to assist the region and its countries in their tough every-day struggle against terrorism”.

The Italian Defence has been working to this end for a long time, “both within the framework of the United Nations and European Union, and at the bilateral level. If Niger will make a request to that regard, we can broaden our activities”. The day concluded with the Minister’s greetings to the personnel of the MISIN mission, led by BGen Liberato Amadio.

Defence Minister Guerini expressed his “commendation and great satisfaction for the valuable job done to safeguard stability and security”. He thanked the servicemen and servicewomen of the mission “for the relevant outcomes achieved thanks to the close cooperation that the Army, Air Force and Carabinieri successflully established with the Armed Forces of Niger in the conduct of training activities”.

Images: Italian MoD, Agenzia Industrie Difesa