CrisisWatch

Tracking Conflict Worldwide

CrisisWatch is our global conflict tracker, a tool designed to help decision-makers prevent deadly violence by keeping them up-to-date with developments in over 70 conflicts and crises, identifying trends and alerting them to risks of escalation and opportunities to advance peace.

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August 2022

Africa

Niger

French Operation Barkhane completed relocation to Niger amid domestic opposition and persistent jihadist violence in southern regions. Insecurity continued to plague south. In Tillabery region in south west, al-Qaeda-affiliated Group for the Support of Islam and Muslims (JNIM) 1 Aug killed three civilians in Garbougna village (Gothèye department). Govt forces week of 4 Aug killed eight JNIM fighters near Samira mine (also Gothèye). Explosive device allegedly planted by JNIM militants 11 Aug killed two civilians near Bougoum town (Niamey capital region). In nearby Tahoua region, security forces week of 4 Aug killed four suspected Islamic State in the Greater Sahara (ISGS) fighters near Tabatol locality (Tillia department). In Diffa region in south east, Multinational Joint Task Force troops week of 10 Aug arrested three suspected Boko Haram splinter Jama’tu Ahlis Sunna Lidda’awati wal-Jihad (JAS) members in Toumour locality (Diffa department); JAS militants 12 Aug attacked civilian vehicles near Garin N’Gawaye town (N’Guigmi department), killing two and abducting 22. French Operation Barkhane 15 Aug completed relocation from Mali to Niger amid widespread domestic criticism. New anti-French coalition of 15 civil society organisations, M62, created 3 Aug; after Niamey authorities banned M62 protest scheduled for 17 Aug against rising fuel prices and French relocation, coalition vowed to organise “peaceful march for dignity” on 18 Sept. Former President Mahamane Ousmane’s opposition party 11 Aug denounced Barkhane redeployment to Niger, as well as country’s security and economic situation. In apparent response to rising pressure, President Bazoum 2 Aug called for greater unity against jihadists, 5 Aug met with opposition leader Tahirou Saidou in rare political move. Govt worked to bolster security apparatus: after cabinet late July extended state of emergency in parts of Tillabery, Tahoua and Diffa regions, defence minister 1 Aug announced plans to increase size of military from 33,000 to 100,000 troops by 2030.

July 2022

Africa

Niger

Violence ran high in Diffa region in south east; govt sought to strengthen regional security cooperation, and reported growing food insecurity. In Diffa region in south east, Boko Haram splinter group – Jama’tu Ahlis Sunna Lidda’awati wal-Jihad (JAS) or Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP) – 3 July attacked National Guard post in Gueskérou commune (Diffa department), killing two; 11 militants also killed and eight others captured. Around 50 presumed JAS combatants 4-5 July attacked Blabrine military position in N’Guigmi department, killing six soldiers and wounding 14 more, and losing 17 militants; 18 July abducted 16 people including 11 Chadian Quranic students and five women in N’Guigmi town. In Tillabery region in south west, violence continued along Burkina Faso border, near capital Niamey, where al-Qaeda-affiliated Group for the Support of Islam and Muslims (JNIM) operates. Notably, in Torodi department, govt forces around 7 July killed five suspected JNIM members near Torodi town, while unidentified gunmen around 13 July ambushed joint Nigerien-Burkinabe patrol in same area; patrol repulsed attack, reportedly killing 22 assailants. Amid relative lull in violence in Mali-Niger border area of Tillabery, partly due to dialogue between govt and Islamic State in the Greater Sahara (ISGS), suspected ISGS militants 17-18 July reportedly clashed with militiamen near Adabdab village in Banibangou department; at least eight militiamen and three militants killed. Niger and Benin 11 July signed military cooperation agreement with view to enhancing information-sharing and air-intelligence cooperation amid rising security concerns along shared border. PM Ouhoumoudou Mahamadou 7 July said 4.4mn Nigeriens will need food assistance during lean season in June-Sept, as inflation and rising food prices have further exacerbated existing food shortages.

June 2022

Africa

Niger

Jihadist violence continued in Tillabery and Diffa regions, and President Bazoum reiterated willingness to talk with jihadists. Insecurity persisted in Tillabery region. In Gotheye department, suspected al-Qaeda-affiliated Group for the Support of Islam and Muslims (JNIM) militants 14 June killed at least eight soldiers and wounded 33 in attack on Waraou town; in response, French Barkhane forces same day carried out airstrike against retreating assailants near Burkina Faso border, killing around 40. In Banibangou department, suspected Islamic State in the Greater Sahara militants 7 June attacked Diné-Ara and Inékar towns, causing unknown casualties, and 11 June killed two local vigilantes in Tizegorou locality. In rare attack within Niamey capital district, suspected JNIM militants 7 June killed one soldier and wounded another in Bougoum town. Joint anti-insurgency operation made headway in Diffa region, but jihadist attacks continued. Multinational Joint Task Force (which comprises militaries of Cameroon, Chad, Niger and Nigeria) 8 June announced operation Lake Sanity 28 March-4 June killed over 800 Boko Haram and Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP) militants in Lake Chad basin. ISWAP militants 7 June killed one soldier in attack on army position in Djalori town (Diffa department); 14 June attacked customs post in Mainé-Soroa department, killing one. Meanwhile, President Bazoum continued efforts to engage local jihadist leaders in talks. Bazoum 3 June visited Makalondi commune (Torodi department, Tillabery region), called on jihadists to demobilise, promising reinsertion into society; 9 June visited Téra town (Téra department, Tillabery region), called for greater cooperation with Mali and Burkina Faso to stabilise shared borders. Amid continued popular opposition to French presence, Bazoum in 8 June interview with West African media outlets said he was “not a valet of France”. Nigerien, Nigerian and Algerian energy ministers around 20 June met in Nigeria’s capital Abuja in effort to revive trans-Saharan pipeline project to transport gas to Europe.

May 2022

Africa

Niger

Security forces kept up pressure on jihadist militants in south east and south west; President Bazoum reiterated commitment to security partnership with France despite vocal opposition. Nigerien military and regional allies continued security operations in Diffa region (south east). Notably, Nigerien elements of Multinational Joint Task Force 7 May killed ten members of Boko Haram in airstrike in N’Guigmi department. Govt 25 May said army previous night killed around 40 Boko Haram elements in fighting on Lake Chad islands in and around Diffa department. Meanwhile, jihadist violence persisted in Tillabery region (south west). Al-Qaeda-affiliated Group for the Support of Islam and Muslims (JNIM) militants 4 May publicly executed civilian for unknown reason in Kokoloukou village (Torodi department); suspected Islamic State in the Greater Sahara (ISGS) militants killed civilian in Firaw Koira village (Tera department); IED allegedly planted by ISGS 12 May killed two civilians in Sakoira commune (Tillabery department); and JNIM militants next day killed five people, including village chief, in Bolsi town (Torodi department). Also in Tillabery, army 24 May reported killing 65 jihadists in recent days in Torodi and Gotheye areas. Amid increasingly vocal opposition to redeployment of French Barkhane forces in Niger, President Bazoum 17 May met with French Ambassador to Niger Alexandre Garcia in capital Niamey, reaffirmed ties with France. In interview with French media outlet La Croix, Bazoum next day called for deeper and more effective Western involvement to combat jihadist groups in Sahel region. UN Sec Gen António Guterres 2-3 May visited Niger, met with Bazoum and called on international community to invest more in training and equipment for Nigerien army. After Court of Auditors in April pointed to dysfunctions and irregularities in conduct of govt operations, Nigerien Network for Budgetary Transparency and Analysis and other NGOs 11 May filed legal complaint over alleged loss of FCFA63bn (€95,7mn) in state funds due to embezzlement in recent years.

April 2022

Africa

Niger

Rival jihadist factions engaged in major clashes in Diffa region, parliament authorised relocation of foreign troops from Mali to Niger, and authorities arrested sitting minister and other govt officials as part of anti-corruption campaign. In Diffa region (south east), infighting between two subgroups of Boko Haram faction known as JAS 4 April left over 60 dead around Bosso commune, on islands shared between countries of Lake Chad basin; JAS 9-10 April clashed with rival group Islamic State in West Africa Province (ISWAP) in Bosso commune, with at least 14 dead. ISWAP reportedly claimed executing 11 Christians after capturing them in Diffa region 22-26 April. Amid lower jihadist activity in Tillabery region (south west), suspected jihadists 12 April killed seven police officers and wounded over a dozen in attack on police station near Burkina Faso border in Bankilaré department. As part of 2-25 April joint operation with Burkinabè forces along shared border, govt forces reportedly killed numerous suspected al-Qaeda-affiliated Group for the Support of Islam and Muslims (JNIM) militants in Torodi department. In Agadez region (north), attacks by unidentified assailants 8 and 12 April left six soldiers dead. As part of ongoing military operations across country, 54 suspected jihadists reportedly killed 26 March-2 April in Dosso, Tahoua, Tillabery, and Diffa regions; and 37 militants killed 5 April in joint operation with neighbouring Benin and Burkina Faso in tri-border area. National Assembly 22 April voted to allow redeployment from Mali to Niger of French Barkhane and European Takuba troops. Authorities 8 April arrested former Interior Minister Ousmane Cissé on accusations of involvement in alleged coup attempts in 2021 and during President Bazoum’s visit to Turkey in March. Bazoum next day announced arrests of 30 senior govt officials as part of anti-corruption drive; authorities around 19 April also arrested Communication Minister Mahamadou Zada on embezzlement charges in first-ever arrest of minister in office.

March 2022

Africa

Niger

Jihadist groups stepped up attacks in Tillabery and Diffa regions, leaving over 50 dead; relocation of French Barkhane and European Takuba forces from Mali to Niger remained divisive. In Tillabery region (south west), explosive devices likely planted by al-Qaeda-affiliated Group for the Support of Islam and Muslims (JNIM) around 3-4 March killed five soldiers in Torodi department. Suspected jihadists 16 March attacked civilian transport vehicles in Tera department, killing 21 people including at least two police officers; 24 March ambushed army convoy in Kolmane area, also Téra department, killing six soldiers. Jihadists also ramped up attacks in Diffa region (south east). Govt forces 2 March clashed with suspected Boko Haram Bakura faction militants in Gueskerou commune (Diffa department), number of casualties unknown. Bakura combatants 7 March attacked six villages in Diffa department, killing at least 20 people and abducting unknown number of women. President Bazoum defended decision to open dialogue with jihadists: after announcing late Feb he had sent emissaries to “nine terrorist leaders” and released several militants from prison in effort to “search for peace”, Bazoum 10 March told Qatar-based news channel Al Jazeera that dialogue with JNIM militants could produce positive outcome, insisted military force is necessary part of any solution. Ruling coalition 5 March issued statement supporting Bazoum’s decision to accept redeployment of French Barkhane and European Takuba forces to Niger. In letter to French President Macron, opposition MP Omar Hamidou 7 March opposed relocation, said French and European forces had “lost all credibility” in Nov 2021 when three protesters were killed in clashes with Barkhane forces in Tillabery’s Tera department.

February 2022

Africa

Niger

Niger set to take on enhanced role in regional security architecture amid departure of French and other forces from Mali; insecurity remained widespread in Tillabery and Diffa regions. French Defence Minister Florence Parly 2-3 Feb visited Niger to assure Niamey of Paris’s “unfailing support” in fight against jihadists amid reconfiguration of France’s security presence in Sahel. France and partners 17 Feb announced full withdrawal of French Barkhane and European Takuba forces from Mali within six months, also stated intent to build new regional security architecture focusing on Niger and West African coastal countries by June. President Bazoum same day confirmed Niger will welcome part of Takuba troops leaving Mali but did not mention Barkhane. Possible reinforcement of French military presence stoked domestic tensions. Authorities 10 Feb banned demonstration scheduled for next day by civil society coalition Tournons La Page against French presence and deployed law enforcement forces in capital Niamey to prevent gathering. Meanwhile, several deadly attacks targeted civilians, local self-defence groups and military forces in Tillabery region (south west). Notably, army vehicle 16 Feb struck explosive device near Téra department’s Samira gold-mining site, leaving five killed and two wounded; unidentified assailants 20 Feb attacked truck in Banibangou department killing at least 18 civilians. In Diffa region (south east), series of abductions by suspected Boko Haram (BH) Bakura faction or Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP) continued. Notably, ISWAP or Bakura faction 8 Feb killed one person and abducted 16 including women and children in Bosso department. Banditry activity and several abductions recorded in Maradi region (south). Unidentified gunmen 1 Feb attacked civilians in Koakora village (Guidan Roumdji department) and abducted four women; next day clashed with local defence militia and abducted woman in Tchadi village (also Guidan Roumdji). Also in Maradi, Nigerian army airstrike targeting armed bandits 18 Feb reportedly killed seven children in Nachadé village (Madarounfa department) bordering Nigeria.

January 2022

Africa

Niger

Violence persisted mainly in south west but also south east, and corruption scandal re-emerged weakening President Bazoum. In Tillabery region (south west), Al-Qaeda-affiliated Group for the Support of Islam and Muslims (JNIM) launched several attacks on security forces: gendarmerie vehicle 7 Jan hit explosive device likely planted by JNIM militants on Torodi-Makalondi axis (Torodi department), leaving at least three gendarmes killed; JNIM 15 Jan stormed mixed position of National Guard, customs and forest guards in Torodi department, killing one national guard. Islamic State in the Greater Sahara (ISGS) also staged several attacks in south west, notably ambushing National Guard convoy between Sanam village in Tillabery and Tebaram village in neighbouring Tahoua region 3 Jan; five national guards killed. Spate of kidnappings continued in Diffa region (south east). Suspected Boko Haram Bakura faction or Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP) combatants 3 Jan abducted three women in Gorodi village (Diffa department); all three next day escaped as air force conducted strikes on militants’ hideout. Suspected Bakura faction 5 Jan also kidnapped seven women and girls in Klakamana village (N’Guigmi department). Also in Diffa region, security forces 29 Jan reportedly repelled ISWAP attack on Chetima Wangou military camp, killing ten militants. In first major drug interception in Niger, police 2 Jan seized 214kg of cocaine – worth around $9mn – in local official’s vehicle at Tourayyat checkpoint in Agadez region (north). After legal document late Dec revealed govt had refused to bring civil action against those accused of having embezzled over FCFA12bn ($20mn) of defence ministry’s funds, president’s office 6 Jan insisted settlement allowed state to recover full amount and reaffirmed authenticity of Bazoum’s commitment to combat corruption; statement comes after Moussa Tchangari, sec gen of NGO Alternative Espaces Citoyens, 29 Dec said govt feared inquiry would reveal senior administration officials or prominent politicians’ involvement.

December 2021

Africa

Niger

Security situation remained fragile in south west and authorities sought to stifle growing protest movement against foreign military presence. In Tillabery region (south west), suspected jihadist militants 4 Dec stormed army position near Fantio locality in Tera department, killing at least 12 soldiers; defence forces next day said they had killed “dozens” of militants in fighting. Niger and Burkina Faso 25 Nov-9 Dec conducted joint offensive along shared border as part of second phase of Taanli joint operation launched last June, claimed to have killed around 100 jihadists notably in Torodi department. French air strike 20 Dec reportedly killed leading Islamic State in the Greater Sahara member Soumana Boura north of Tillabery city. Presumed jihadists overnight 22-23 Dec simultaneously attacked border post and bridge near Makalondi village (Torodi department), killing at least seven. Meanwhile, UN refugee agency 3 Dec said violence in Nigeria’s North West had forced 11,500 people to flee into Niger in Nov, with most taking shelter in rural commune of Bangui in Tahoua region (which neighbours Tillabery); influx of refugees could present local authorities with additional challenge. Tensions persisted after protest against French military presence late Nov turned deadly in Tillabery’s Tera department; defence and interior ministers 4 and 11 Dec respectively refused to appear before parliament to answer questions on incident. Authorities 5 and 12 Dec banned two demonstrations against western military presence organised by civil society coalition Tournons la page (TLP); 10 Dec reportedly detained 15 TLP members, most of whom were allegedly taking part in rally in capital Niamey on Human Rights Day. In address to seventh edition of Peace and Security Forum in Senegal’s capital Dakar, President Bazoum 6 Dec urged external partners to increase efforts to stop illicit arms flows originating from Libya, described them as “most important parameter” behind jihadist violence in Sahel, and argued Sahelian countries should be granted exceptional financial resources to resolve security crisis.

November 2021

Africa

Niger

Islamic State in the Greater Sahara (ISGS) conducted sophisticated attacks in south west, inflicting heavy casualties and demonstrating resilience despite death of group’s leader in August. In Tillabery region (south west), alleged ISGS combatants 2 Nov ambushed self-defence group in Banibangou department, killing at least 69; two days later stormed mixed army and gendarmerie position in Tillabery department, killing at least 14 soldiers. President Bazoum 6 Nov labelled insecurity prevailing in Tillabery as country’s “number one challenge”. In Tillabery’s Tera department, protesters opposed to French military presence 27 Nov blocked French convoy hours after it had crossed border from Burkina Faso while en route to Mali; clashes erupted, leaving at least two killed and 18 wounded. In neighbouring Tahoua region, presumed ISGS combatants 17 Nov stormed nomadic compound guarded by Tuareg self-defence group in Tillia department, killing at least 25 including 22 vigilantes. In Diffa region (south east), despite absence of major jihadist attacks since mid-Sept, Boko Haram factions throughout month continued to harass and kidnap civilians to thwart relocation of internally displaced persons; republic’s 63rd anniversary celebrations scheduled for 18 Dec in Diffa city could become flashpoint for violence. Two major accidents in Maradi region (south) underlined significant challenges facing Bazoum presidency. Collapse of artisanal goldmine in Madarounfa department 7 Nov killed at least 18, highlighting risks associated with proliferation of artisanal mines in country’s south and north east. Meanwhile, fire 8 Nov broke out in straw hut classroom in same department, killing at least 26 primary school children; incident renewed pressure on govt to build classrooms in solid materials, one of Bazoum’s campaign promises. Bazoum 29 Nov announced partial cabinet reshuffle, notably sacking of interior minister.

October 2021

Africa

Niger

Jihadists continued attacks on civilians and state forces in south west, fuelling displacement and worsening food crisis. In Tillabery region (south west), suspected Islamic State in the Greater Sahara (ISGS) militants 3 Oct killed six civilians in Tera department; 5 Oct killed two civilians including Gassa village chief in Tillabery department; and 11 Oct stormed mosque in Banibangou department, leaving ten dead. Jihadists 17 Oct also attacked police post in Tera department, killing three police officers. Amid sustained efforts by President Bazoum to bolster relocation plan in region, local NGO Cluster Protection Niger said recent violence caused displacement of over 800 people in Tera department 4 Oct and another 150 in Tillabery department 9 Oct. UN humanitarian agency (OCHA) 1 Oct warned of rising food insecurity in Tillabery region due to farmers’ inability to cultivate lands and surge of food prices amid violence; recorded around 600,000 food insecure in region. In neighbouring Tahoua region, suspected bandits 10 and 12 Oct robbed two businessmen, raising fear of insecurity spilling over from neighbouring Nigeria’s Sokoto state. Violence dropped in Diffa region (south east) in Oct; suspected jihadists 12 Oct however abducted four people. Several security incidents reported in Maradi region (south); notably, unidentified gunmen 4 and 6 Oct abducted six civilians and seized livestock in Madarounfa department. Amid tense relations with Bamako since Malian military took power, Bazoum 6 Oct met leaders of main Malian armed groups signatory to 2015 Algiers peace agreement; rapprochement risks further aggravating diplomatic feud. “Pandora papers” investigation released 8 Oct alleged former Nigerien presidents including Bazoum’s predecessor Issoufou illegally awarded mining licences to Russian businessmen presumably as part of money-laundering scheme; accusations could heighten tensions within ruling party, including Bazoum’s inner circle potentially using allegations to reduce Issoufou’s influence.