Niger's Council of Ministers announced on Friday, June 12, that the ongoing state of emergency will be extended for an additional three months in the region of Diffa and in several departments of the Tillaberi and Tahoua regions.
According to a statement, the extension went into effect on Monday, June 15, for the following areas: Diffa region; Tillaberi region (departments of Ouallam, Ayorou, Bankilaré, Abala, Banibagou, Say, Torodi, and Téra); Tahoua region (departments of Tassara and Tillia).
For the Tillabéri and Gotheye departments (Tillaberi region), the three-month extension will begin from Monday, June 22.
During the state of emergency, security forces are granted additional powers, including the right to search homes at any given time.
Militants have been increasingly active along the Niger-Mali-Burkina Faso border areas, which each country's respective governments have had difficulty securing. Officials placed the Tillabéri region 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, 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.
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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