U.S. Plans Drone Base in Africa to Increase Surveillance on Al-Qaeda
The military's Africa Command, Africom, said that, if approved, the base could have as many as 300 military and contractor personnel and would be located in Niger — on the eastern border of Mali.
The purpose is "to increase surveillance missions on the local affiliate of Al-Qaeda and other Islamist extremist groups." Officials say they'll fly only unarmed surveillance drones — for now.
According to the Times, though the base "could alienate local people who may associate [drones] with deadly attacks in Pakistan, Somalia and Yemen," Niger's President Mahamadou Issoufou "has expressed a willingness to establish [...] a long-term strategic relationship with the U.S."
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