Niamey/Dakar/Geneva/New York — Statement by UNICEF Regional Director for West and Central Africa, Marie-Pierre Poirier
“UNICEF is deeply shocked and outraged by the terrible attacks against children and families by unidentified armed groups in the village of Darey-dey, in the rural commune of Banibangou, Tillabery region, in western Niger that took place on 16 August 2021.
“We are saddened to confirm that at least 37 civilians – including thirteen children aged 15 to 17 and four women – were killed and several others were injured.
“We express our deepest sympathy to the victims, families and communities impacted by these brutal attacks.
“It is the third attack that occurred in this village this year. Conditions on the ground remain extremely dangerous for children.
“Insecurity is spreading at a rapid pace in Niger. Attacks in the region of Tillabery, and along the borders with Burkina Faso, Mali and Nigeria have led to significant displacement and continue to wreak havoc on the lives of hundreds of thousands of children.
“In conflict-affected areas, the places children rely on for protection and support – including schools, health facilities and protection services – have also come under attack.
“UNICEF and others have repeatedly called for the protection of civilians, in particular children and women, and for the respect of international humanitarian law. Killing children is a grave violation of human rights.
“The continuing conflict, repeated attacks, and access restrictions due to insecurity and violence are also hampering our ability to reach those most in need.
“UNICEF remains committed to take all measures to ensure the safety of children and their families and to reduce the suffering of the victims.
“UNICEF strongly urges all parties to stop attacks on children and their families and keep them out of harm’s way.”