14/09/2020 – « La situation de protection [des populations] dans les régions de Diffa, Tillabéri, Tahoua et Maradi reste précaire avec un activisme des groupes armés non-étatiques ». C’est ce qui ressort d’un rapport de présentation analytique de protection UNHCR qui a prévalu dans 4 régions du Niger. Continuer à lire … « Niger – Sécurité : La situation de protection reste précaire dans 4 régions (rapport) »
14/09/2020 -Au mois de mars et d’avril dernier, des massacres perpétrés dans le secteur d’Inates ont entraîné la mort d’au moins 71 personnes. Les résultats des investigations menées par la Commission nationale des droits de l’homme Nigérienne désignent comme coupable les forces armées nigériennes. Mais le ministre de la Défense, Issoufou Kamtabé, ne croit pas à ses conclusions et estime qu’il appartient à la justice d’établir la vérité des faits. Continuer à lire … « Niger : pour le ministre de la Défense, l’armée n’est pas responsable des massacres d’Inates »
28/08/2020 – Le gouvernement nigérien vient de décider une prorogation de l’état d’urgence pour trois mois, à compter du 28 août prochain, dans les départements de Baleyara et de Kollo, région de Tillabéry, instauré suite à l’attentat meurtrier perpétré le 9 août dernier dans la zone de Kouré, a annoncé mercredi un communiqué officiel à Niamey.Pour rappel, le dimanche 9 août dernier, aux environs de midi, six humanitaires français et deux citoyens nigériens (un guide et un chauffeur) ont été tués par des individus armés dans la zone de Kouré, située à environ 70km au sud-est de Niamey, dans le département de Kollo, région de Tillabéry, dont relève la réserve de Kouré. Continuer à lire … « Niger : prorogation de l’état d’urgence de trois mois dans deux départements après l’attentat meurtrier de Kouré »
28/08/2020 – Le gouvernement nigérien a adopté mercredi en conseil des ministres un projet de loi sur la création d’une Autorité de Régulation et de Sûreté nucléaires (ARSN), dans la perspective de la mise en oeuvre du programme électronucléaire national du pays, a-t-on appris jeudi de source officielle à Niamey. Continuer à lire … « Le Niger se dote d’une autorité de régulation nucléaire en prélude à son programme électronucléaire »
OPINION: Last week’s mutinous putsch by Malian army officers against President Boubacar Keita is cause for concern among oil and gas companies operating in the region, not least in Senegal and Mauritania’s burgeoning industry.
The bloodless coup was swiftly denounced by the African Union, which demanded the immediate recall of the ousted president and Prime Minister Boubou Cisse, yet people were seen rejoicing on the streets of the capital Bamako.
Popular frustration had mounted over alleged corruption and growing insecurity in the landlocked state, most of it controlled by Tuareg militia and terror groups Islamic State and Al Qaeda.
French Armed Forces Minister Florence Parly insisted Operation Barkhane, a UN-backed French military campaign to neutralise the Islamist insurgency, would be unaffected.
France has 5100 soldiers deployed to assist and train the G5 Sahel militaries of Mali, Chad, Niger, Burkina Faso and Mauritania and is desperately seeking funds to shore up the mission in the wake of US President Donald Trump’s decision to scale down US counter-terror operations.
Keita may now be relocated to Senegal by Mali’s army junta, comprising senior officers well-liked in the ranks and led by US-trained Colonel Assimi Goita.
The events of 18 August reflect a wider malaise. Recent weeks have seen the advance of East Africa’s Al Qaeda affiliate to threaten liquefied natural gas developments operated by Total and ExxonMobil in Mozambique.
South Africa is wary of entering the fray for fear of jihadist retaliation on its own territory — Russia’s Wagner Group tried and failed to assist the Mozambique army but quit the scene, popping up again this month in Libya’s southwestern oil patch.
Russian mercenaries have sought access to natural resources in return for quelling rebellion but have had limited success with the US, for now, deploying substantial diplomatic capital to exclude Russian entities from participation in oilfield equity.
Lukoil failed to snare desired acreage in Equatorial Guinea and in Senegal where Nigerian independent Oranto Petroleum was also persuaded against a proposed farmout to Rosneft.
Perhaps more critical is the spill-over into sub-Saharan Africa of intense competition between the Emirati-Saudi alliance and a coalition of Qatari-Turkish interests with Iran as an active participant, all vying to win friends and influence people across the continent.
Underlying the geopolitical rivalry are sharp religious differences between Wahabi Sunni extremists and the expansionary Muslim Brotherhood, fed by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan who this week landed a massive, open-ended security deal with G5 member Niger.
France is appalled, having failed to secure either Saudi or Qatari finance for the G5 which may now crumble, with President Emmanuel Macron using funds borrowed by Senegal to hastily build a military camp at Goudiry near the Mali border to combat cross-border threats.
Little more than 600 kilometres of desert separates restive Islamist militias from the Senegal-Mauritanian coast, while just to the north Iran stands accused by Morocco of using Hezbollah to train up Polisario rebels just in case the US caves in and backs Rabat’s claim to sovereignty over Western Sahara.
One false move and an attack on Senegal’s flagship oil and gas developments could blast both out of the water before either Sangomar or Greater Tortue Ahmeyim have pumped a drop — and Woodside Petroleum, Total and BP are well aware of the threat.
(This is an Upstream opinion article.)(Copyright) |Photo : Bloodless coup: Malian army soldiers arrive amid a crowd of supporters in Bamako’s Independence Square after the overthrow of the country’s president Photo: AFP/SCANPIX
26/08/2020 – US company Apogee-SSU is training Cessna 208B Caravan crews of the Cameroonian, Nigerien and Chadian air forces under a United States government contract.
The US Department of State recently renewed the company’s training contract, Africa Intelligence reports, and Apogee-SSU said on its website it has openings in Africa performing services for the Department of State (DOS), Bureau of African Affairs. This requirement is for the full-time services of three Technical Advisors to train selected aviation personnel in Cameroon, Chad and Niger on Cessna 208B aircraft and respective mission equipment, such as Intelligence, Surveillance, Reconnaissance (ISR) and/or Casualty Evacuation (CASEVAC), so that partner nation aviation personnel are self-sufficient in the operations and maintenance tasks of Caravan aircraft. Continuer à lire … « USA – Apogee-SSU to continue training west African pilots #Chad #Niger »
26/08/2020 – Niger’s security forces have arrested more than 100 people in the Sahara desert who were trying to illegally cross the country’s northern border into neighbouring Algeria, security sources said Monday. Continuer à lire … « More than 100 migrants arrested in Niger near Algerian border »
Although not a first, this case is unprecedented in its scope and involvement of senior officials. In January 2020, a shipment of 246 boxes (about 47kg) of tramadol, worth XAF12.3 billion (around €18.8 million), coming from India via Douala, Cameroon, and bound for Libya, was seized by Chadian customs.
Chad is positioned south of Libya, on the eastern edge of the Sahel and Lake Chad, west of Sudan and north of the Central African Republic (CAR). There’s latent conflict in the CAR, Boko Haram in the west, intensifying community conflicts on the border with Sudan and various armed gangs, and a volatile situation in southern Libya.
Even with prominent members of the network behind bars, fighting drug trafficking will be long and arduous.
Considering possible connections between trafficking and insecurity in the country and the neighbourhood, trafficking must be curbed to prevent entrepreneurs of violence and insecurity (armed gangs, highway robbers, highway criminals and violent extremist groups) in Chad from creating destabilising interdependencies.
With one of the trafficking routes into Chad, the Cotonou road, now under surveillance, traffickers have changed routes and are increasing the scale of their operations. The corridor from northern Chad to Libya also sees other types of insecurity and illicit activities including armed gangs, organised crime and smuggling, despite a state security presence. This could become an alternative route for trafficking into and from Chad. It’s a huge desert area that’s impossible to completely control and is well known to traffickers.
Due to its proximity to Libya, northern Chad has suffered the full impact of the Libyan conflict for almost a decade. The conflict in Libya has made it a corridor for various types of trafficking. This area also often escapes effective state control.
Even before the Libyan civil war, northern Chad had been the object of Chad-Libyan contestation (1978-1987). The discovery of gold deposits there has accentuated conflict and insecurity dynamics by attracting actors from different backgrounds, including armed gangs eager to profit from the illicit exploitation and trafficking of this resource.
In other contexts, entrepreneurs of insecurity and violence take advantage of illicit activities to strengthen logistical, operational and financial bases and enhance their resilience to state responses. In 2017, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime also warned of the extent of tramadol trafficking in the Sahel and its use by non-state armed groups.
In July 2019, two senior officials of Chad’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs were arrested for tramadol trafficking from India via Cotonou, Benin. Beninese authorities apprehended the escort with the cargo. The Chadian senior officials involved tried to have him released on the pretext that the cargo was destined for the Chadian national army. The senior officials were tried and imprisoned in Chad and the escort in Benin.
Chad is cited as one of the most corrupt countries in Africa.
A corollary to trafficking is often corruption of administrative authorities. Indeed the huge sums of money involved deepen mistrust in Chad, which is cited as one of the most corrupt countries in Africa. The tramadol trial has set a precedent, but much remains to be done to clean up the system once and for all.
It is important to continue the work to restore the integrity of the security and intelligence environment, from agents using their positions to organise the trafficking, to strengthen the capacity of the judiciary to better track down and try traffickers.
The National Agency for Financial Investigation (ANIF) and the Task Force on Money Laundering in Central Africa (GABAC) should also be asked to track systems through which money gained from the illicit drug trade is being laundered in Chad’s economy and regionally. Asset forfeiture of those involved in trafficking could be effective in this regard.
Finally, the international scope of trafficking raises the need for transnational cooperation involving not only Chad’s neighbours (Cameroon, Nigeria, Niger, Libya, Sudan and the CAR), but also the countries that serve as corridors for this trafficking, particularly Benin, to curb it. An intergovernmental institution such as Interpol, but also existing regional mechanisms such as ANIF and GABAC, should be reinforced to facilitate this cooperation.
Written by Remadji Hoinathy, Senior Researcher, ISS Regional Office for West Africa, the Sahel and the Lake Chad Basin. Republished with permission from ISS Africa. The original article can be found here.
22/08/2020 – La force Barkhane poursuit son effort dans le Liptako-Gourma et concentre son action dans la lutte contre les groupes armés terroristes dans la région « des trois frontières ». L’opération Barkhane, demandée par les Maliens et autorisée par le Conseil de Sécurité de l’ONU, se poursuit. Les militaires français en lien avec les partenaires européens et sahéliens, continuent d’assurer leur mission avec professionnalisme, au bénéfice de la sécurité de tous. Continuer à lire … « Opération Barkhane: Actualités des opérations »
21/08/2020 – Selon une vidéo authentique parvenue à la rédaction de Aïr Info, un mouvement politico militaire dénommé Union des Forces Patriotiques pour la Refondation- UFPR vient de voir le jour.
Le baptême de ce nouveau front s’est fait à travers un dur réquisitoire de la gouvernance actuelle en cours au Niger.
Nous ignorons pour l’instant le chef-fondateur et le programme de ce mouvement.