Niger: February 2019 SITREP and Chronology of Violent Incidents Related to Al-Qaeda affiliates Jama’at Nusrat al-Islam wal Muslimeen (JNIM), Islamic State in the Greater Sahara (ISGS), Boko Haram, and Armed Bandits
Civil society and professional associations launched on February 14 campaign of “dead city” in Tillabéri city to express discontent against security measures and curfew imposed at night time. According to Cluster Protection internally displaced populations (IDP) of Tillabéri region live in a very unstable security context due to the upsurge of protection incidents, the intensification of military operations (Dongo-G5 Sahel, Saki 2 Joint Operations Dongo / Barkhane), and the extension of the state of emergency in 10 departments bordering with Mali and Burkina Faso. As of February 28, there are approximately 50,000 internally displaced persons (IDPs) in the Tillabéri region (source: cluster protection).
According to Cluster Protection, during the month of February 2019, 55 protection incidents were reported in the Tillabéri region including: 18 cases of incursions and attacks by elements of non-state armed groups in the communes of Inates, Abala, Ouallam, Goroual, Bankilaré, Torodi, Téra, Makalondi, Ayérou, and Anzourou. In addition, there were reprisals resulting 6 cases of kidnapping and 5 cases of targeted killings of civilians, mainly to deter civilians from collaborating with security forces, and administrative authorities. 2 cases of improvised explosive device (IED) explosions also recorded with 5 cases of inter-communal conflict, 11 cases of physical aggression and 8 cases of theft and extortion of property perpetrated by members of armed groups on routes leading to weekly markets.
During February 2019 abductions of civilians and traditional leaders in Diffa Region continued by suspected members of Islamic State in West Africa Province (ISWAP) or Boko Haram militants. Despite low and limited number of deadly attacks by both militant groups around the Lake of Chad, locals continued to express their security concerns and inability to move freely and conduct their income generating activities, such as trade and fishing.
Reportedly, between 04 – 11 February more than 100 members of the Movement for Justice and Rehabilitation of Niger (MJRN) agreed to lay down their weapons and vehicles in Dirkou, Agadez Region. The group previously threatened to carry attacks against Nigerien security forces.
Niger witnessed first major attack by suspected militant groups of Jama’at Nusrat al-Islam wal Muslimeen or Islamic State in the Greater Sahara (ISGS) in Dosso Region on the borders with Nigeria. This attack came weeks after rumors of militant cell being dismantled while trying to establish itself in the area.