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Saturday, January 29, 2022

Dozens of civilians killed in Niger gun assaults

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Inside Minister Alkache Alhada says the assault happened within the villages of Tchombangou and Zaroumdareye, close to the border with Mali.

Gunmen have killed dozens of civilians and wounded a number of extra in assaults on two villages in western Niger, close to the nation’s border with Mali, in keeping with a senior official.

Inside Minister Alkache Alhada instructed the DPA information company that the assaults happened within the villages of Tchombangou and Zaroumdareye within the area of Mangaize on Saturday.

A minimum of 56 civilians had been killed and 20 extra wounded, he mentioned, with out specifying the precise toll in every village.

It was not instantly clear who was chargeable for the assaults.

A neighborhood journalist instructed the AFP information company that fifty individuals had been killed in Tchombangou, whereas Reuters, citing a safety supply, mentioned a minimum of 49 had been killed and 17 had been wounded in the identical village.

One other 30 had been killed in Zaroumdareye, Reuters reported, citing a second safety supply.

Al Jazeera’s Ahmed Idris, reporting from Niger’s capital Niamey, mentioned, “The idea right here is that the attackers got here in throughout the border from Mali.

“That is without doubt one of the most porous areas of Niger. The border with Burkina Faso can also be porous and has seen assaults from armed teams loyal to al-Qaeda and Islamic State (ISIL, or ISIS). And on the border with Nigeria, we’ve seen elevated exercise with Boko Haram assaults concentrating on not solely civilians, but in addition army personnel.”

The violence got here on the identical day Niger introduced the outcomes from the primary spherical of a presidential election.

Former Inside Minister Mohamed Bazoum of the governing Nigerien Social gathering for Democracy and Socialism was main the vote with 39 % of the votes. He’ll now face former President Mahamane Ousmane, who garnered 17 % of the vote, in a runoff on February 20.

The realm the place Saturday’s assaults happened, Mangaize, is positioned in Tillaberi, an enormous and unstable area the place the borders of Niger, Mali and Burkina Faso converge.

Fighters with hyperlinks to al-Qaeda and the ISIL armed group have more and more mounted assaults throughout West Africa’s Sahel area in recent times regardless of the presence of hundreds of regional and international troops.

The violence has hit Mali and Burkina Faso the toughest, however has additionally spilled into western Niger. Based on the United Nations, a minimum of 4,000 individuals throughout the three nations died in violence linked to the armed teams in 2019.

On December 21, seven Nigerien troopers had been killed in an ambush in Tillaberi, whereas 34 villagers had been massacred within the southeastern area of Diffa on the Nigerian border final month.

Manu Lekunze, educating fellow on the College of Aberdeen in the UK, listed “rising inhabitants, poverty and local weather change” as drivers of the instability within the Sahel area.

However Niger, Chad, Burkina Faso and Mali have “elementary structural issues” the place the states have turn out to be “incapable of offering safety, whether or not individually and collaboratively” within the Sahel, Lekunze instructed Al Jazeera.

“We have to settle for this truth and begin fascinated with how these states should be essentially reformed to fulfill the challenges they’re going through within the twenty first century,” he mentioned.

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