President Obama recently announced that 100 US troops have been deployed to the poor West African country to run a new surveillance drone base. Is this the beginning of a wider intervention against Al Qaeda allies in the region?
Muammar Qaddafi's death is unlikely to mark the end of the Sahel's Libya troubles, with a steady stream of migrants and Qaddafi loyalists returning home or fleeing.
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.
Muammar Qaddafi may not be in Niger, but he has lots of friends to Libya's south.
The Sahel region of Africa has seen many hostage crises in recent years, staged by a local branch of Al Qaeda, and hostages' home countries have had to make difficult decisions.
French and African officials say Saturday's killing of two French hostage in Niger was likely carried out by Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), which has claimed responsibility for a number of kidnappings in recent years.
Global warming has taken an outsized toll on many African countries. But with world uranium demand rising, there may be a way to recoup some of the losses.
The arrest of officers from Niger's military junta could complicate the junta's attempts to return Niger to democracy.