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Apostolic Nuncio in Burkina Faso to Extend His Representative Role to Niger

Archbishop Michael Francis Crotty, Apostolic Nuncio to Burkina Faso and Niger.

The Apostolic Nuncio in Burkina Faso, Archbishop Michael Francis Crotty will extend his representative role to cover the landlocked West African country of Niger, officials at the Vatican announced.

Archbishop Crotty’s extended service to Niger was made public Saturday, April 25 and published by the Holy See Press Office.

Appointed to represent the Holy Father in Burkina Faso at the beginning of February after having served as the First Counsellor of the Apostolic Nunciature in Spain since 2017, the Irish Prelate will be taking over from Archbishop Piergiorgio Bertoldi who was transferred to Mozambique in March 2019.

As Nuncio to Niger, Archbishop Crotty will continue to reside in Burkina Faso’s capital, Ouagadougou. Both countries form the Episcopal Conference of Burkina Faso and Niger (CEBN).

A priest of Ireland's Cloyne Diocese, the 50-year-old Archbishop Crotty was ordained a priest in July 1994.

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He joined the Holy See Diplomatic Service in July 2001. Since then, he has served in the Apostolic Nunciatures of Kenya, Canada, Iraq and Jordan, and in the Section for Relations with States of the Secretariat of State at the Vatican.

In 2005, Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI named him his Chaplain and granted him the Prelate of Honour of His Holiness in 2014. 

He holds a licentiate in Canon Law and a doctorate in ecclesiastical history, both from Gregorian Pontifical University in Rome. 

The Archbishop is extending his representative role to Niger where reports indicate concerns about the country’s security situation being part of the Sahel region. Diffa, Tillabéry, and Tahoa regions have reported increased displacement of populations. The insecurity has prevented access to humanitarian assistance, according to a report.

It is also a transitory country that has, over the years, experienced an influx of refugees seeking asylum from internal and external extremist groups.

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In a bid to combat the jihadist crisis in the Sahel region, France together with its five Sahel partners in Western Africa among them Burkina Faso agreed, last month, to put their military forces under a single entity dubbed “the Coalition for the Sahel.”

A bill that was unanimously voted for by Niger’s parliamentarians recommending the arming of civilians to help them combat the armed groups is waiting to be signed into law.