19 civilians murdered in Niger

Rubble of an old home Rubble of an old home Photo by Levi Meir Clancy on Unsplash

24 June 2021

Armed assailants killed 19 civilians in the village of Danga Zawne, Niger

Karidjo Hamadou, mayor of the town of Tonkiwindi, reported to Reuters an armed attack occurred on Thursday, June 24th, in the village of Danga Zawne and in the fields around it, in the western Niger’s Tillabery region. As an aftermath of the attack, Reuters wrote that 19 civilians were murdered, three of them in the village and the others in the surrounding lands. Despite mayor Hamadou admitted that it is very difficult to identify those responsible for the killings, it is quite likely that the perpetrators belong to one of the Islamist militant groups which operate within the region.

Indeed, despite the numerous efforts delivered by thousands of regional, Western and U.N. troops in order to protect Africa’s Sahel region from hostilities, Niger has been regularly targeted by heinous attacks perpetrated by armed groups associated to al Qaeda and the Islamic State. Against this backdrop, it is worth recalling that, according to Reuters, it has been estimated that suspected Islamic State fighters killed approximately 100 civilians on January 2nd in raid-attacks directed against two villages in Tillabery. Moreover, according to Aljazeera, at least other 300 people lost their lives in the aftermath of similar attacks in the last months.

This recent trend is highly concerning, as it reflects an increase of violence against civilians. Whereas in the past such attacks were mainly focused on Nigerien security forces, throughout these last months the conflict has been dramatically influenced by local ethnic clashes, bringing about massive harm for civilians’ living conditions. In light of this, it is pivotal for the international community to prioritize the protection and the support for people affected by such an escalation of violence, as to prevent the occurrence of further slaughters of innocents. 







Author: Gianpaolo Mascaro; Editor: Jasmina Saric

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