October 28, 2015 Carla Babb - VOA
PENTAGON— American soldiers have begun training units of Niger's army at the edge of the Sahara Desert, in what a U.S. official calls a “new wave” of military support for African states battling Boko Haram militants. More training will follow for national armies in Cameroon, Nigeria and Chad, the official told VOA, speaking on condition of anonymity. Extremists from Boko Haram are based in northeastern Nigeria, but they have carried out notorious attacks throughout the Lake Chad region - Niger, Chad, Cameroon and Nigeria. Training in Niger began on October 19 at Agadez, the largest city in central Niger, once a center for caravans crossing the Sahara. The Niamey government requested the U.S. mission to Niger, U.S. Africa Command spokesman Chuck Prichard told VOA Wednesday.