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World Deadly attack in Niger: "The threat is extremely widespread and generalized" according to an analyst from the Sahel

01:05  10 august  2020
01:05  10 august  2020 Source:   francetvinfo.fr

6 French citizens, 2 guides killed by gunmen at giraffe park

  6 French citizens, 2 guides killed by gunmen at giraffe park NIAMEY, Niger (AP) — Unidentified gunmen killed six French citizens and two Nigerien guides who were visiting a wildlife park east of Niger’s capital early Sunday, the West African nation’s interior ministry said. French President Emmanuel Macron's office confirmed that some French citizens were killed during the attack but would not elaborate. Macron had a phone call with Niger President Mahamadou Issoufou on Sunday evening, his office said. The attack took place in Koure, where Niger has a giraffe reserve, Oumarou Moussa, the adviser to Niger's interior minister, told The Associated Press.

It is believed to be the deadliest attack by suspected Islamist militants in Niger for several years. But militants linked to al-Qaeda and the Islamic State group (IS) have staged attacks in the Sahel region this year Security analysts say the insurgency in Niger is escalating at an alarming rate.

Matthew Page, a Nigeria expert and former State Department analyst on the Africa desk, said “We don’t have very good intelligence information on what the threat looks like or how it’s growing and In the case of Niger , the deaths of four servicemen still seem to be not enough for Trump to offer further

Eight people, including French, were killed on Sunday in an attack by armed men on motorcycles in Kouré (Niger). For Mathieu Pellerin, Sahel analyst at Crisis Group, the responsibility turns "rather to jihadist groups".

  Attaque meurtrière au Niger : © Provided by Franceinfo

"The threat is extremely widespread and generalized", estimates Sunday August 9 on franceinfo Mathieu Pellerin, Sahel analyst at Crisis Group, while an attack took place on Sunday around Kouré, in the south-east of the Nigerian capital Niamey, killing eight, including French and two Nigeriens - the driver of the vehicle taken by storm and the president of the association of tourist guides of the Kouré giraffe reserve.

Troops launch manhunt after Niger killings, France sets terror probe

  Troops launch manhunt after Niger killings, France sets terror probe Troops in Niger backed by French air power launched a hunt Monday for the killers of eight people, six of them French nationals, as prosecutors in Paris announced a terror investigation into their deaths. "Search operations with our partners are underway to root out the people behind these vile acts and strengthen security in the area," the Nigerien interior ministry said. The French military, which has a 5,100-member anti-jihadist force in the Sahel, said it was providing air support for the operation, which is unfolding over a vast wooded area.

“ The threat of terrorism and violent extremism is expanding. It’s not anymore in north Mali only. When asked if international efforts to address the threats were working, Nagy responded: “No, it is not. The United States coordinates its Sahel policy with the African Union, regional governments

This was the third deadly IED attack in a month in eastern Burkina Faso. “This is by no means a new phenomenon But, according to Sidi Kounté, the Burkinabé army is already “overwhelmed by having to fight on numerous Alternatively, Burkina Faso could draw on the G5 Sahel , the French-backed

franceinfo: This attack took place in a deprecated area, an orange area. This is the first time that an attack has taken place at this location, what should we deduce?

We must deduce from this that there is a territorial expansion of jihadist groups, a priori, it is rather towards jihadist groups that the responsibility turns. There is an expansion, which comes both from the western part of Niamey, that is to say the Mali-Niger border, but also at the level of the Burkina-Niger border, with groups that have been developing since 2019 to the Nigerian border, passing through the Kouré area, but further south. There is a strategy of gradual encirclement of Niamey on the part of these groups.

The Kouré area had never been the target of an attack from near or far. However, in January 2020, there was rocket fire near Niamey, and a little north of Kouré. So it's not completely new either.

French people killed in Niger. Humanitarian neutrality at the expense of their security

 French people killed in Niger. Humanitarian neutrality at the expense of their security © Boureima Hama / AFP The NGO Acted has confirmed that seven of the eight people killed on Sunday August 9 are part of their team. On Sunday August 9, eight people were murdered in eastern Niger by an armed group in an ambush. Interview with researcher Yvan Guichaoua, specialist in the Sahel and security issues. Eight people were killed by an armed group, Sunday, August 9, 2020, at Niger , in the Kouré region.

The Sahel has long experienced a series of historic droughts, dating back to at least the 17th century. The Sahel region is a climate zone sandwiched between the Sudanian Savanna to the south and the Sahara desert to the north, across West and Central Africa.

Herdsmen attacks on unprotected villages in Nigeria have mainly involved disputes over land resources between herders and farmers across Nigeria but more devastating in the Middle Belt (North Central) since the return of democracy in 1999.

We should be concerned about this, because the groups are extremely mobile, and because neither France nor the Nigerien armed forces are sufficient to control such a large territory.

Mathieu Pellerin

to franceinfo

The mobility of these groups means that today we can no longer exclude the possibility of attacks occurring in areas which are considered as inadvisable areas, known as orange areas. The threat is extremely widespread and widespread.

Can the Nigerien government be destabilized by this kind of attack?

I do not think so, because there have already been extremely heavy attacks, which mainly targeted the armed forces of Niger, but at the end of 2019 it was extremely trying for the Nigerien authorities. Several hundred Nigerien soldiers were killed. Since 2010, there have already been kidnappings of French people in Niger. Recently there has been one. What is certain is that it will alert the international community more and more, it will re-mobilize part of the Nigerien armed forces on the south-eastern slope of Niamey. It will make the fight against these groups even more complicated.

POINT OF VIEW. What does the attack in Niger tell us?

 POINT OF VIEW. What does the attack in Niger tell us? © TAGAZA DJIBO, REUTERS The Kouré giraffe reserve (Niger) where aid workers from the Acted association were murdered on Sunday 9 August. What are the objectives pursued by the aggressors of the humanitarian workers, Sunday, August 9, in Niger? Analysis by Jenny Raflik, professor of contemporary history at the University of Nantes.

A group in northwestern Africa that is loyal to the Islamic State issued a statement on Friday claiming responsibility for the October attack in Niger that By 2011, Mr. Sahraoui was in charge of taking care of foreign hostages kidnapped by the group, according to Mariasandra Mariani, an Italian who was

Reporting from the desert of Niger to a small town in Georgia, The New York Times reconstructed how four American soldiers lost their lives — and why they were in Africa to begin with. By Rukmini Callimachi, Helene Cooper, Eric Schmitt, Alan Blinder and Thomas Gibbons-NeffFeb.

The jihadist risk does not weaken despite the efforts of the G5 Sahel, is the territory too large to be able to control everything?

Yes, absolutely, and that corresponds to the strategy of these groups, which have understood that it is necessary to stretch the front line as far as possible, precisely to destabilize the G5 Sahel system. The area affected by this terrible attack is not at all an area covered by the G5 Sahel. It is a real challenge to continually adapt to an ever-changing threat.

What must be looked at, and that will undoubtedly be the news for the next year, is the risk that the various jihadist fronts will connect. There are already established connections between those established in Lake Chad and those established in the Sahel, and whose area we are talking about is a bit of a natural junction point. The area which goes from north-Benin to the north of the Tahoua region is a natural meeting area between the different groups that evolve between Lake Chad and the Sahara. It will make the fight even more complicated, especially since the G5 has no visibility on what is happening in Nigeria.

Niger says suspect arrested in killing of French aid workers .
A suspect has been arrested after eight people, including six French aid workers, were murdered by armed men near the capital Niamey, Niger's interior minister Alkache Alhada has said. The aid workers, two men and four women from a French NGO called ACTED, were killed on August 9 with their Nigerien guide and driver while visiting the Koure National Park, a giraffe haven and tourist hotspot outside the capital where they were based. "At theThe aid workers, two men and four women from a French NGO called ACTED, were killed on August 9 with their Nigerien guide and driver while visiting the Koure National Park, a giraffe haven and tourist hotspot outside the capital where they were based.

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