An ongoing joint military exercise was launched at the US army base in Agadez on Monday, April 9. Eight Sahelian countries are taking part in the drill, including the G5 Sahel members - Mali, Niger, Mauritania, Chad, and Burkina Faso. As such, gunfire and explosions may be heard. It remains unclear how long the exercise will last.
The US-led international Flintlock program aims to strengthen the military capabilities of Sahelian armies struggling to combat terrorist groups. A joint military drill is held annually.
Niger faces a high threat from terrorism, including armed attacks and abductions. Militant Islamist cells from various terrorist groups based out of neighboring Nigeria and Mali - including Boko Haram, Al-Qa'ida in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), the Movement for Oneness and Jihad in West Africa (MUJAO), and Al-Mourabitoun - are all active in Niger.
Individuals throughout Niger should exercise vigilance when visiting sites deemed particularly likely to be targeted by an attack (government buildings, prominent hotels, etc.) and report any suspicious objects or behavior to the authorities. Many Western governments advise their citizens against all travel to areas located in the north and west of the country, as well as areas along the Nigerian border to the south, due to the high risk of terrorist activity.