Madama

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For the play see Madama Butterfly.
Aerial view of the fort of Madama, November 2014

Madama is a border settlement on the northeast frontier of Niger. Little more than an army post, the settlement serves as a frontier station controlling travel between Niger and Libya. It is also the site of a former French colonial fort, built in 1931. The fort is now surrounded by barbed wire and a field of landmines.[1]

Military use today[edit]

The army of Niger maintains a garrison of a hundred soldiers, depending on the 24th Interarmes Battalion from Dirkou.

On Oct 23, 2014, the French government announced plans to base helicopters and 50 French troops here, under the Operation Barkhane. The French Army builds a forward operating base.[2] The French military is about 200 to 250 soldiers in January 1, 2015.[3]

The operational base of Madama served as a command post for a military operation zone control for the French, Niger and Chad armies from 20 to 27 December 2014.

French paratroopers (3rd RPIMa) and Nigerian soldiers talk over the old fort Madama, November 2014.

Madama Airfield[edit]

Aerodrome Madama consists of a laterite track (21°57′0.10″N 13°39′2.13″E / 21.9500278°N 13.6505917°E / 21.9500278; 13.6505917) with a length of 1 300 meters. The work of the 25th Air Engineer Regiment and the 19th Engineer Regiment allowed the reconstruction of the runway from November 2014; will be extended to a length of 1800 meters; summary aviation facilities will be added: ramp, two parking for aircraft and helicopter pads.[4] Tactical transport aircraft can land there since December 2014.

References[edit]

Coordinates: 21°56′43″N 13°38′52″E / 21.945168°N 13.647910°E / 21.945168; 13.647910