Niamey (AFP) Police in Niger have arrested 23 people after a demonstration against new taxes in one of the world’s poorest nations turned violent, the interior minister said Monday. The arrests came after a protest on Sunday, Bazoum Mohamed told AFP, adding that the organisers had defied a ban and then clashed with the police. “They incited (the public) and disrupted public order and were arrested for rebellion for describing the ban as illegal,” he said. A radio and television network owned by Ali Idrissa, one of four leading civilRead More
Niamey (AFP) At least five civilians were killed and several others wounded in an attack by suspected Boko Haram militants in southeast Niger, near the border with Nigeria, according to local sources. “The BH (Boko Haram) came to the market place early Friday evening, they shot the crowd and took food,” said a resident of Toummour, in the southwest Diffa region, which was targeted by the attack. A local official on Sunday confirmed the toll of “five dead, all civilians”, adding that several were also wounded in the attack. DiffaRead More
Niamey (AFP) Thirteen African and European countries and the EU agreed Friday that efforts to crack down on migrant trafficking to Europe should also focus on economic woes that prompt poor Africans to seek a better life in Europe. In ministerial-level talks, they agreed to “attack underlying causes of irregular migration,” according to a joint statement. “The economic problem… is also the basis for the migration phenomenon,” Niger Interior Minister Mohamed Bazoum said. The countries also vowed to strengthen national laws to prosecute traffickers and improve coordination among police andRead More
Niamey (AFP) Three police officers were killed in western Niger in a border region that has come under repeated attack from jihadists, the defence ministry said Tuesday. “On Monday at around 21:40 (2040 GMT) the police station at Goube was attacked by terrorists. We have three dead and an injured among our ranks,” a statement said. Goube, located about 40 kilometres (25 miles) north of the capital Niamey, lies in a region that has suffered repeated attacks from jihadist incursions from neighbouring Mali. Local radio Saraounia said the encounter lastedRead More
Niamey (AFP) Five countries in the Sahel have made a pitch for further funds for a joint force to fight jihadism in their fragile region. The presidents of Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania and Niger made the appeal after a summit Tuesday in the Niger capital of Niamey, ahead of a fund-raising meeting in Europe later this month. “Given the pressure that the current security situation is placing on the public finances of member states, the heads of state invite the international financial institutions… to put in place additional resourcesRead More
Niamey (AFP) The UN refugee agency appealed on Wednesday for $157 million (126 million euros) to help over a quarter of a million people affected by the insurgency led by the militant Islamist group Boko Haram. The UNHCR, acting with more than 40 other agencies, said it needed to help 208,000 Nigerian refugees and 75,000 of their hosts in Niger, Cameroon and Chad, where infrastructure has been strained by the influx. Since 2013, the Boko Haram conflict has internally displaced another 2.4 million people in northeast Nigeria, Cameroon, Chad andRead More
Niamey (AFP) A Niger court has set the date of February 28 for announcing the outcome of a high-profile case involving former prime minister Hama Amadou, who has been sentenced to a year’s jail for baby-trafficking. “Proceedings were held on Wednesday at the Court of Cassation, which will issue a ruling on February 28,” a judicial source said on Wednesday. Amadou was prime minister from 1995-6 and 2000-2007, and president of the national assembly from 2011 to 2014. He stood against President Mahamadou Issoufou in elections in 2016 but flewRead More
Niamey (AFP) At least seven Niger soldiers were killed and more than a dozen others wounded this week in an attack by suspected Boko Haram militants in the country’s southeast, the government said on Friday. “The provisional toll for the cowardly terror attack on Wednesday night in Toummour is seven dead, seventeen wounded and one soldier missing,” said a cabinet statement. Toummour is located in the Diffa administrative region, which lies on the border with Nigeria and Chad. It has suffered a string of deadly Boko Haram attacks since FebruaryRead More
Niamey (AFP) A total of 141 civilians in Niger were killed, kidnapped or wounded by the Boko Haram jihadist group last year, a sharp fall compared with 2016, the UN said on Wednesday. The toll in 2016 was 227 after 214 in 2015, the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said in a report. Boko Haram launched an insurgency in northeast Nigeria in 2009 that in 2015 spilled into Niger. It also affects the country’s other neighbours, Chad and Cameroon. Overall, more than 20,000 people have been killedRead More
Niamey (AFP) President Emmanuel Macron arrived in Niger late Friday for a morale-boosting visit to France’s Barkhane anti-jihadist force and told troops the fight against extremists in the region would continue in 2018. Former colonial power France has been leading regional counterterrorism efforts in West Africa’s Sahel region, but is keen to spread the burden as its military is engaged on various fronts. Macron was welcomed by his Niger counterpart Mahamadou Issoufou. The French leader then had a “Christmas dinner” with some members of the 4,000-strong Barkhane force. The mealRead More