Tag Archives: Niger

Niger military slain in ambush

More than 17 soldiers in Niger were killed and 11 went missing in an ambush close to Mali border, a government spokesman said.

The offensive was launched near the town of Tongo Tongo, where fighters from an Islamic State affiliate previously killed four U.S. special forces and four Nigerien soldiers.

“…The governments of Mauritania, Mali, Niger, Burkina Faso and Chad – member states of the G5 Sahel, a regional organization for security cooperation created in 2014 – are having great difficulty in facing the progressive spread of jihadist violence and the strengthening of criminal trafficking networks”,  Ph.D Camillo Casola writes.

G5 Sahel countries – Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania, and Niger– are expected to have a meeting in Brussels next week to enhance security and military cooperation with the EU amid intensified attacks of Islamic terrorists.

EU admits Buhari election ‘consistency’

Nigerians have re-elected President Muhammadu Buhari, as the announcement by the Independent National Electoral Commission confirms. These results are consistent with independent civil society observations”, says the text of the statement attributed to a European External Actions Service (EEAS) spokesperson.

“Moreover, important lessons are to be learned, in particular ahead of the State elections next week. It is now the responsibility of all parties and candidates to strengthen democracy and unite the country.

“The EU Election Observation Mission will stay beyond the State elections and produce a final report with recommendations.”

The EU will continue to strengthen its partnership with Nigeria‘ – the statement concludes.

Election is not war, and should never be seen as a do-or-die affair. I pray that we all accept this democratic approach to elections, however contentious” wrote President-elect of Nigeria Muhammadu Buhari in his Twitter micro blog.

Niger strikes Boko Haram along Komadugu river

Niger governmental troops  have eliminated more than 280 Boko Haram militants in combat and in air strikes since an operation against the radical Islam group last week, the defence ministry said.

Boko Haram has intruded Niger, Chad and Cameroon from its base in northeast Nigeria, where it has been fighting for more than nine years to establish a religious Islamic state – Caliphate.

The defence ministry informed that the army mounted an intense operation against the militants in the end of 2018 along the Komadugu river, which separates Niger from Nigeria.

More than 200 militants were “neutralized” by air strikes and 87 were killed by Nigerien troops in combat it said.

Girls kidnapped in Niger

A group of armed men  kidnapped 15 girls overnight in southeastern Niger, the local mayor said on November 24. (Photo: illustration).

Boukar Mani Orthe, the mayor of Toumour in Diffa region near the border with Nigeria, said about 50 unidentified armed men seized the girls in a village about 9 km from the town centre.

EU and Germany help Niger to cope with migrant flows

The European Union, through the EU Trust Fund for Africa, and the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) co-finance a project in Niger which helps local authorities identify development and infrastructure measures and strengthen their capacity to better address the consequences of migration. More than 150 000 people will benefit from better access to basic services which will also create 1 500 jobs.

Launched in 2017, with a budget of EUR 28.5 million, the project “Programme: Améliorer la gestion des défis migratoires” (ProGEM) has been cooperating with 20 local authorities along the main migratory routes.

The city of Agadez is a transit route for passing migrants and hosts at the same time young Nigeriens who are looking for a job as well as returning migrants from countries such as Algeria or Libya. More than 300,000 people pass through Agadez every year.

There are considerable social, economic and administrative challenges. According to the vice-president of Agadez Regional Council, Aklou Sidi Sidi, “the demand for water, medical care, education and sanitation is high and continuing to rise. This is one of the main consequences of the migration we are faced with here in Agadez, in the north of the country”. Unemployment drives young Nigeriens to migrate or get involved in smuggling activities. “The key is economic development and job creation in our towns”, Mr Aklou stresses.

“ProGEM is always there to help. It helps us develop our own expertise and draw up and implement appropriate measures, both social and in terms of infrastructure”, says Mr Alhousseini Hamodi, the mayor of Tchintabaraden district.

Thanks to ProGEM the municipality could identify the most affected areas. And the project is currently building and extending 10 healthcare centres and hospitals, 10 drinking water supply systems and standpipe networks, 5 markets and commercial infrastructures, 15 toilet blocks and 11 classrooms in the regions of Agadez, Tahoua and Zinder.

Boko Haram attacks at Lake Chad

Attack attributed to Boko Haram jihadists in the Lake Chad region left behind 18 people dead, a Chadian military source said on Sunday.

“Boko Haram elements attacked a village south of Daboua,” not far from Chad’s border with Niger, at around 9:00 pm (2000 GMT) on July 19,  the military source said. The assailants “cut the throats of 18 people, wounded two others and kidnapped 10 women”.

Boko Haram’s Islamist insurgency has devastated the region since it took up arms in 2009 in Nigeria, leaving more than  20,000 people dead, forced to displace more than two million others and triggered a humanitarian crisis.

Chad, Cameroon and Niger have all joined the military effort by Nigeria to crush Boko Haram. Chad has seen a recent increase in activity by the group.

Tajani: “We can’t stop migration”

“Until 2016, 90% of irregular migrants travelled through the Niger to Libya and Europe. In just 2 years, Niger reduced migration flows by 95%, from over 300,000 to about 10,000 in 2018. We need to support this model and extend it to other Sahel countries following the example with Turkey, where we committed 6 billion euros to close the so-called ‘Balkan route’, ” declared European Parliament President Antonio Tajani, at the end of his official visit to Niamey in Niger where he headed a mission of entrepreneurs, researchers, and representatives of international organisations.

“Together with effective control of external borders, the migration crisis must be tackled at source, with investments and economic partnerships triggering economic development and opportunities for young Africans. I am convinced that the mission of economic and technological diplomacy that accompanied me here is a first step to attracting European investment and technology transfers to Niger, “ added Tajani.

President Tajani also underlined the need for a common and strategic European approach to relations with African countries and in particular those in the Sahel region (in addition to Niger, Burkina Faso, Mali, Mauritania and Chad): “Irregular migration and Africa’s growth require a European-level strategy. Any solution taken at national level ends up being temporary, isolated and ineffective. We need a medium to long term vision, with a real ‘Marshall Plan’ capable of mobilizing large-scale public and private investments in the African continent. In this sense, the collaboration with Niger has been extraordinary and represents a model for many other African countries “.

The President of the European Parliament also visited a refugee reception center run by the UN High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) attended by persons evacuated to Niger from Libya. At the center, Tajani expressed his commitment to strengthen the fight against the traffickers who perpetrate unspeakable violence and torture to men, women and children: “These young Somali and Eritrean women refugees told me about the horrible violence they suffered in the Libyan camps. They have been saved thanks to the work of UNHCR and the EU. Their agony drives us to up the fight against the traffickers”.

President Tajani was received in Niamey by the President of Niger Mahamadou Issoufou, the President of the Nigerian National Assembly Ousseini Tini, and Prime Minister Brigi Rafini. Tajani had meetings and talks with the Presidents of the National Assemblies of the G5 Sahel countries and with the Secretary General of the Community of the 29 States of Sahel and Sahara (CEN-SAD), Ibrahim Sani Abani.

Tajani also stressed the importance of starting a process of democratization in Libya with the aim of stabilizing the entire region: “Apart from Niger, Chad, Burkina Faso, Mali and Mauritania are also our key partners to reach a solution to the Libyan crisis. Consequently, I invited representatives from these countries to participate in the conference in support of the organization of democratic elections in Libya that the European Parliament will organize in Brussels on 10 October, ” Tajani announced.

During his visit, the President of the European Parliament also undertook to strengthen the Erasmus + programme for Nigerian students and to conduct further joint initiatives in the strategic sectors of renewable energy, agriculture, water management and digital.

 

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