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Merkel is to help Niger to combat human trafficking

Merkel is to help Niger to combat human traffickingGerman Chancellor Angela Merkel has pledged more financial help to Niger to support its fight against human traffickers and militant Islamists, Reuters.

One of the world's poorest countries will get €77 million ($86 million) to combat people smuggling and illegal migration in the Agadez region, according to Merkel speaking at a news conference on Monday.

Merkel met Niger's President Mahamadou Issoufouon for talks in Niamey on Monday, the second day of her trip to Africa during which the conservative leader aims to work toward curbing future migration waves and also revamp her reputation at home.

An influx of almost one million migrants into Germany last year, many from Syria and Iraq, has hit Merkel's popularity at home. A European Union agreement with Turkey has helped stem the flow from the Middle East and Asia, but thousands of people still risk the perilous Mediterranean crossing from Africa to Europe.

Germany would also support Niger's armed forces in their fight against militant Islamists by offering military vehicles and other equipment worth 10 million euros, she said.

Merkel is the first German chancellor ever to visit Niger.
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