News Alerts

21 Dec 2018 | 12:42 PM UTC

Niger: School closures amid increased insurgent threat

Niger News Alert

Increased insurgent threat force hundreds of schools to close in western and southeastern regions

TIMEFRAME expected from 12/21/2018, 12:00 AM until 12/28/2018, 11:59 PM (Africa/Niamey). COUNTRY/REGION Niger, Tahoua, Niger

Event

Hundreds of schools have closed in the western and southeastern regions of Niger due to an uptick in insurgent activity. According to security officials, the regions of Tillabéri, Tahoua, and Diffa have been the most affected by attacks by militant groups. Despite the ongoing efforts of the Niger government and international partners, jihadists are still able to intimidate school workers in many communities in these areas located along the borders with Mali, Burkina Faso, and Nigeria. Security measures have been stepped up in these areas, however some schools have been relocated to ensure the smooth conduct of classes. The militants threaten to kill teachers who follow Western or French educational styles instead of forming Koranic schools.

Context

The Diffa region has been under a state of emergency since February 2015, which has been extended by the government several times. Officials placed the Tillabéry and Tahoua regions under a state of emergency in March 2017 due to an increase in attacks targeting refugee camps and security forces.

Niger faces a high threat from terrorism, including armed attacks and abductions. Militant Islamist cells from various Nigerian and Malian terrorist groups - including Boko Haram as well as 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 the country.

Advice

Individuals throughout Niger should exercise vigilance when visiting sites deemed particularly likely to be targeted by an attack (e.g. 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, including areas along the border with Burkina Faso, as well as areas along the Nigerian border to the south, due to the high risk of terrorist activity.

 

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