Qaddafi's influence in the region remains strong, despite Niger's recognition of the rebel government, making it difficult for the government and people to make up their minds.
Several pieces in the last few days have reported on the different sentiments that exist in Niger regarding the presence of former Libyan ruler Col. Muammar Qaddafi’s lieutenants and supporters in Niger. The ambivalence that characterizes the Nigerien population’s feelings toward the Libyan conflict also seems to extend to the Nigerien government, whose policies toward post-Qaddafi Libya are somewhat mixed.
[A water-seller] says Niger has “no choice but to host them because they are Muslims”.
“Islam says one cannot deliver a Muslim brother to their enemies,” he says.
“But we fear that weapons might enter our country along with former Tuareg rebels,” he adds.