Seven suspected “terrorists” have been reported killed and some 30 alleged accomplices of the Boko Haram jihadist group arrested over the past two weeks in south-eastern Niger.
In its weekly bulletin on military operations, Niger’s Defence Ministry said the seven suspects were killed in the town of Gueskerou, near the Nigerian border.
The army also reportedly dismantled kidnapping gangs in N’Guigmi, further north and near the Chadian border.
The weekly report added that the army had, on 9 September, intercepted 30 foreign nationals transporting goods for collaborators with the Boko Haram jihadist group.
🔴🔴🔴#FAN 🪖🪖🪖 BULLETIN DES #OPERATIONS N°0024/2022. pic.twitter.com/XG1luC7itB— Forces Armées Nigériennes (@ArmeesNiger) September 15, 2022
Six people described as “Boko Haram accomplices” were also arrested during a military offensive close to the Lake Chad basin, a strategic area where the borders of four countries converge – Cameroon, Chad, Niger and Nigeria.
The Niger army gave no details of those arrested, but local sources claim they were Nigerian nationals.
Environ 2 100 personnes auraient quitté l’ancien site des personnes déplacées de Kablewa #Diffa, selon une évaluation qui a permis aux acteurs humanitaires d’avoir des données probantes sur les besoins urgents et le nombre de déplacés. Lire plus 👉https://t.co/VPJh6dIDZ2— OCHA NIGER (@OCHA_Niger) September 10, 2022
Thousands displaced by ‘non-state armed groups’
Meanwhile, the UN Office for Humanitarian Affairs in Niamey reported the movement of more than 2,000 displaced people – mostly women and children – from the islands of Lake Chad to safe areas after “threats from non-state armed groups”.
The world’s poorest country by the benchmark of the UN’s Human Development Index, Niger has been hit hard by the jihadist insurgency across the Sahel that began in northern Mali in 2012.
Niger is also facing an insurgency on its southeastern frontier with Nigeria – a campaign launched by the notorious Boko Haram islamist group.
Of late, Boko Haram fighters have rounded up Nigerian fishermen, abducting some and killing others, on Niger’s side of Lake Chad.
Northeast Nigeria has been consumed by a 13-year jihadist insurgency that has killed more than 40,000 people and displaced around two million more.