Monday 23 October 2017
(AFP (eng) 10/21/17)
Twelve paramilitary police were killed Saturday in a fresh attack in Niger's restive southwest bordering Mali, the interior minister said. "There was a new attack. Twelve gendarmes were killed. We have launched search operations," Mohamed Bazoum told AFP. It comes after an ambush at the beginning of October killed four US and four Niger soldiers along the border, which has been regularly targeted by jihadist groups. The latest dawn raid happened in the town of Ayorou in the Tillaberi region, 200 kilometres (124 miles) northwest of the capital Niamey. A security source said the attackers arrived in five vehicles and fled when police reinforcements arrived. Villagers saw them leave carrying bodies.
(AFP (eng) 10/21/17)
US Defense Secretary Jim Mattis thanked his French counterpart Friday for France's assistance in the immediate aftermath of a Niger ambush that killed four US troops, as questions mounted in Washington about what happened. French warplanes flew overhead and armed helicopters evacuated the US wounded following the October 4 attack near the Mali border, which is thought to have been carried out by jihadists. The Pentagon chief has previously praised the less than 30-minute French response time after the attack on the joint US-Niger patrol, and officials say it shows how well the two countries'...
(AFP (eng) 10/21/17)
The killing of four American special operations soldiers in Niger has highlighted the increasing role elite units are playing across Africa, which is rapidly becoming a major center of US military action. Their mission is to counter the advances of a slew of jihadist movements across the continent, including Al-Shabaab in Somalia, affiliates of the Islamic State group in the Sahel region and Boko Haram in Nigeria. Of the 8,000 special forces "operators" deployed globally this year, more than 1,300...
(Reuters (Eng) 10/20/17)
NIAMEY (Reuters) - A part of southwestern Niger where four U.S. Green Berets were killed during a mission the U.S. military had considered low-risk has seen at least 46 attacks by armed groups since early last year, a U.N. agency said on Friday. The deaths of the four U.S. soldiers and ensuing confusion over what happened during the Oct. 4 ambush have thrown a spotlight on the U.S. counter-terrorism mission in the West African nation, where about 800 U.S. troops are deployed. Four Nigerien soldiers were also killed. U.S. forces do not have a direct combat role in Niger and instead provide assistance to its army, including intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance support.
(Reuters (Eng) 10/20/17)
DAKAR (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - The #MeToo social media campaign to raise awareness about sexual harassment and abuse has sparked conversation in parts of Africa where domestic violence is rampant but strong cultural and religious taboos prevent women from admitting it. Prompted by sexual abuse allegations against American film mogul Harvey Weinstein, millions of women around the world have been sharing their experiences of harassment and abuse on Facebook and Twitter with the hashtag #MeToo. The movement has reached only...
(AFP (eng) 10/16/17)
A small central city in Niger on Sunday called for the "unconditional release" of a longtime US aid worker abducted in 2016, whose fate is unknown a year later. "We demand the unconditional and immediate release of Jeffery Woodke," a statement from the residents of Abalak read on national television said. "Those who abducted him did not kidnap an American, but one of us," the statement read. Woodke, reportedly in his 50s, was seized at gunpoint on the evening of...
(AFP (eng) 10/12/17)
US Defense Secretary Jim Mattis on Wednesday said the military is looking at possible adaptations following last week's deadly ambush on a joint US-Niger patrol. The October 4 attack near the Mali border, thought to have been carried out by a regional affiliate of the Islamic State group, resulted in the deaths of four US soldiers and at least four Nigerien troops. "We will look at this and say was there some things we have to adapt to," Mattis said...
(Reuters (Eng) 10/12/17)
TAMPA, Fla. (Reuters) - Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said on Wednesday that the military was looking into what changes, if any, should be made after an ambush in Niger killed four U.S. soldiers last week. The incident, which U.S. officials suspect was carried out by a local Islamic State affiliate, has thrown a spotlight on the U.S. counterterrorism mission in the West African country. Mattis, addressing the incident for the first time publicly, said the ambush had taken place in...
(AFP (eng) 10/12/17)
People made homeless by Boko Haram's brutal insurgency will need years of support to help rebuild their lives, even if security improves, the head of the Norwegian Refugee Council said on Wednesday. "We will be here for the next 10 years. Donors need to stay the course. It's a marathon," Jan Egeland told AFP by telephone from Maiduguri in northeast Nigeria. "(The Boko Haram conflict) is now in its ninth year. That's two years more than the Syrian war, double...
(Reuters (Eng) 10/12/17)
DAKAR (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - West Africa is most at risk of fatal haemorrhagic fever epidemics, including Ebola, researchers said on Wednesday, calling for greater preparedness to save lives. A study in The Lancet medical journal assessed the likelihood of four viruses - Ebola, Lassa, Marburg and Crimean-Congo - spreading on the continent, charting progress from a first human case through to a potential pandemic. The world’s worst recorded Ebola outbreak ravaged Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone between 2013 and...
(AFP (eng) 10/10/17)
France will open offices in Niger and Chad in the coming weeks to identify people who could be granted asylum, President Emmanuel Macron announced Monday. The offices would also "warn people in Niger and Chad better about the situation in order to avoid an influx of economic migrants" who would only be sent back from France, Macron said. The French president had made a similar proposal for migrant registration centres in Libya in July. But the idea was axed due...
(AFP (eng) 10/10/17)
Nigeria's Boko Haram started as an Islamic anti-corruption group that became a violent, IS-affiliated movement whose insurgency has threatened stability in the Lake Chad region. But the Nigerian authorities say they are now rolling back the group and thousands of suspected members of the group were due to go on trial from Monday. Boko Haram, whose name loosely translates from the Hausa language as "Western education is forbidden", aims to create a hardline Islamic state in northeast Nigeria. Its revolt...
(AFP (eng) 10/06/17)
Niger has declared three days of national mourning in memory of four of its soldiers killed alongside three US Green Berets in an ambush, state television said Friday. The joint patrol came under fire on Wednesday in southwestern Niger near the border with Mali, in what Niamey called a "terrorist attack". The Pentagon said two other US soldiers were wounded. The attack occurred while they were assisting Nigerien counter-terror operations. Seven Nigerien soldiers were also injured. The report confirmed the little-known presence of US troops in the turbulent area, part of the poor and politically fragile Sahel...
(AFP (eng) 10/05/17)
Three US Green Berets and an unknown number of Nigerien soldiers were killed in a clash on the Niger-Mali border, where Islamic State fighters have established a presence, officials from said Thursday. A joint US-Niger patrol fell into an ambush on Wednesday in the Tillaberi region in the country's southwest, requiring French Mirage 2000 fighter jets to be called in for air support. Niger's President Mahamadou Issoufou said there were many casualties in the battle, and US Africa Command said...
(Reuters (Eng) 10/05/17)
DAKAR/BAMAKO (Reuters) - Five soldiers from Niger and three U.S. Army Special Forces troops were killed and two wounded in an ambush on a joint patrol in southwest Niger on Wednesday, according to Nigerien and U.S. officials. The five Green Berets were attacked while on a routine patrol in an area known to have a presence of insurgents, including from al Qaeda in Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) and Islamic State, a U.S. official told Reuters. It was unclear who fired on...
(BBC 10/05/17)
Three US soldiers have been killed and two others wounded in an ambush in Niger near the border with Mali, the US Africa Command has said. Another soldier from a "partner nation" had also died in the attack, it said - without specifying their nationality. The US soldiers had been providing advice and assistance in Niger's counter-terror operations and come under "hostile fire", it said. Islamist militants, including al-Qaeda fighters, operate in the region. They are most active in neighbouring...
(APA 10/05/17)
APA-Addis Ababa (Ethiopia) - The African Union (AU) will on Thursday endorse reports and recommendations on Agriculture, Rural Development, Water and Environment (ARWE) made by experts and senior officials in a meeting held on Monday and Tuesday. The endorsement will take place during the ministerial session of the AU’s Specialized Technical Committee on ARWE that opened on Thursday in Addis Ababa under the theme “Improve environmental sustainability and transform agriculture to ensure food and nutrition security.” These include policy papers...
(Reuters (Eng) 09/22/17)
From deadly droughts and destroyed crops to shrinking water sources, communities across sub-Saharan Africa are struggling to withstand the onslaught of global record-breaking temperatures. But the dangers do not end there. Rising heat poses another threat - one that is far less known and studied but could spark disease epidemics across the continent, scientists say. Mosquitoes are the menace, and the risk goes beyond malaria. The Aedes aegypti mosquito, which spreads debilitating and potentially deadly viruses, from Zika and dengue...
(Reuters (Eng) 09/21/17)
Makers of generic AIDS drugs will start churning out millions of pills for Africa containing a state-of-the-art medicine widely used in rich countries, after securing a multi-million dollar guarantee that caps prices at just $75 per patient a year. Global health experts hope the deal will help address two looming problems in the HIV epidemic - the rising threat of resistance developing to standard AIDS drugs, and the need for more investment in manufacturing capacity. Bill Gates’ charitable foundation will...
(AFP (eng) 09/15/17)
Flooding unleashed by three months of torrential rain in Niger has killed at least 50 people and displaced nearly 120,000, according to fresh UN data out Thursday. The capital Niamey has been hardest hit along with Dosso in the south, Tillaberi in the west and the central-southern areas of Maradi and Zinder, said the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA). Twenty-one of the 50 fatalities were in the capital, while across the country 47 had been injured...

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