CrisisWatch Niger

Unchanged Situation

Junta asked Togo for help to extract concessions from erstwhile partners as sanctions continued to cripple economy and state finances; jihadist threat remained elevated.

Ruling military turned to Togo to mediate with regional bloc. Military govt continued to grapple with economic crisis sparked in large part by West African regional bloc’s (ECOWAS) sanctions, and budget reduction of around 40% following withdrawal of much of country’s foreign aid. Authorities 31 Oct-4 Nov detained Central Bank of West African States local director in likely bid to pressure institution to lift economic and financial sanctions. Defence minister Gen. Salifou Mody 6 Nov asked Togolese President Gnassingbé to facilitate dialogue between Niger and ECOWAS and serve as guarantor of French withdrawal from Niger, which in Nov continued apace; Togo’s FM Robert Dussey said Lomé ready to “help as a facilitator”.

Govt denied rumours of large-scale jihadist attack amid persistent insecurity. Junta mid-Nov denied rumours of complex ambush on army convoy by Islamic State Sahel Province (IS Sahel) in Tissilatane area, along border with Mali; unconfirmed reports claimed as many as 200 soldiers killed. Smaller-scale incidents involving al-Qaeda-affiliated Group for the Support of Islam and Muslims (JNIM) and IS Sahel continued in Tillabery region (south west), where presumed JNIM fighters 10 Nov killed six civilians and abducted 11 more in Kakou village, Torodi department. Meanwhile in Diffa region (south east), JAS faction of Boko Haram 8 Nov killed three soldiers along Nigerian border near Abadam village, Diffa department. As part of close security cooperation between Niger, Mali and Burkina Faso, Nigerien Air Force early Nov reportedly contributed to capture of Kidal town by Malian forces (see Mali); Niamey 15 Nov congratulated Bamako on “liberation of Kidal”.

In other important developments. In southern region of Maradi, herder-farmer violence 4 Nov killed three people in Danja village, Madarounfa department. Junta 25 Nov revoked 2015 law aimed at curbing migration to Europe, adding new twist to growing political tensions between Niger and EU countries.

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In The News

26 Zář 2023
[The coup in Niger marks] the beginning of the end of a sequence of French troops withdrawing from the central Sahel. The Guardian

Jean-Hervé Jezequel

Project Director, Sahel
17 Srp 2023
If an ECOWAS invasion [of Niger] happened, and there was a regional war, I think that would really put the [U.S.] Defense Department in a tricky position. Responsible Statecraft

Sarah Harrison

Senior Analyst, U.S. Program

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