Suspected Islamists kill at least 137 in Niger: Sahel region needs support

Suspected Islamists kill at least 137 in Niger: Sahel region needs support

Murad Makhmudov and Lee Jay Walker

Modern Tokyo Times

Suspected Islamists have killed at least 137 people in the latest massacre in Niger. Islamists rarely claim responsibility for attacks in the border areas between Burkina Faso, Mali, and Niger. Therefore, with Islamist terrorist networks in a vast region – and issues related to communal violence in several regional nations – the Sahel and the environs of this region face countless problems.

It is known that several villages were attacked in an area that overlaps a troubled region between Burkina Faso, Mali, and Niger. Thus, with other recent massacres this year, it is abundantly clear that people feel abandoned.

France 24 reports, “The three villages are located in the Tahoua region, abutting the Tillaberi region in the so-called “tri-border area” where the frontiers of Niger, Burkina Faso and Mali converge.”

Niger is blighted by poverty and is an extremely weak nation-state, just like many other regional nations. Indeed, Niger is the poorest nation in terms of development ranking by the United Nations. Therefore, with Sunni Islamists in Mali and Nigeria also spreading instability to Niger – along with ethnic massacres in the Sahel and criminality – the crisis for this nation is enormous.

Millions of people have fled terrorist groups and communal violence in Burkina Faso, Mali, Niger, and other nations throughout the region. Christians have also been butchered by Islamists in Burkina Faso and Nigeria. Hence, the international community needs to support the Sahel in countless ways to provide hope and stem the endless cycle of violence and rampant poverty.

Zakaria Abdourahamene, a government spokesperson of Niger, uttered, “In treating civilian populations systematically as targets now, these armed bandits have gone a step further into horror and brutality.”

The Guardian says about the latest terrorist attack in Niger, “The three villages are located in the arid Tahoua region in western Niger, abutting the Tillaberi region in a border region notorious for jihadist attacks.”

Millions of people have been displaced throughout the Sahel region. Despite this, international support remains lackluster. Thus endless issues related to malnutrition, poverty, refugees, terrorist massacres, ethnic massacres, and other brutal ills, continue to blight the Sahel region.


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