update has been compiled by Christer Wilkinson from a variety
Readers are reminded that the Crisis Group (www.crisisgroup.org) publishes
a detailed monthly report on all rebel attacks and other violent incidents
in the three countries covered in this news summary and other countries
including Burkina Faso.
No fresh news on any of the western hostages.
At the time of this report the “total cases” Covid figures
were: Niger 5,7434, Mali 14,714, and Tchad 4,984 cases. Due to different
collection criteria these figures are not completely comparable. These
reported case counts are low compared with other countries, and reflect
a surprisingly low per capita infection rate. Unlike some other countries
there is no evidence of deliberate mis-reporting.
Migrant trends northbound
The IOM DTM site report for Niger for the month of June was available,
but for Mali for the month of July. There was no report for Tchad.
It should be noted that these figures in these reports are only for
migrants at the monitoring points and migrants who avoid these points
are not included. In addition, the accumulation of refugees at remote
frontier points such as Assamaka are not included, nor are repatriation
convoys or organized rescues.
The figures (estimated where full details are not available) show
migrant traffic across the northern borders of Niger and Mali>
Niger: Madama: around 162/day northwards to Libya: 80/day back from
Libya. Arlit: around 184/day north to Algeria and 105/day back from
Algeria (Note: no monitoring at Assamaka).
Mali: Summed over all northern monitoring stations: 45/day north to
Algeria and 4/day back from Algeria.
Tchad: No report again this month.
The relationship with the Africa Union (AU) which initially supported
the transition government (CMT) has further deteriorated. The appointment
of a previous PM of Senegal as the AU representative to support transition
was rejected by the Tchad government (CMT) who stated that Tchad was
not under AU “Tutelage”. There was a visit by the AU representatives
to N’Djamena in mid-July who then appointed a former Congolese
Foreign minister as the new representative.
The new Tchad president went to Paris early in July and met with Macron,
who reiterated his support for the transition and also with Yves Le
Drian. Later he went to Doha where it was reported he was seeking
Despite the setup of an “Organizing Committee of National Dialog”
by the CMT, several opposition parties claimed it was not representative
and biased in favor of the ruling party.
Demonstration are now permitted in the capital, and in late July several
hundred demonstrated on behalf of the “Transformer Party”
against the CMT rule.
In late July the head of the “FACT” rebel organization
indicated they were ready for dialogue with the CMT and take part
in the national dialogue. Meanwhile reports indicate that questions
are being asked about the fate of the captured FACT soldiers earlier
After the appointment of a new head executive, Glencore is still looking
for a buyer of its two oil field investments in Tchad. Earlier in
the month the “Paris Club” put pressure on Glencore to
mitigate the debt payments owed to it by Tchad.
A report was published which claimed that the previous Tchad president
did not die in combat but was killed by a member of Yaya Dillo's family,
in revenge. The uncertain fate of an associate of the previous president,
last seen in Egypt was also reported. But previous rebel Hassan Fadoul
KItir was welcomed back after 21 year of exile in Togo.
Two Russian “Tourists” were reported arrested in the north
of the country in late June. An Isreali delegation met with the CMT
president in Niamey in late July.
The depressing series of fatal incidents in conflicts with Jihadists
over most of Mali, continued this month. But the event of the month
in Mali was the attempted assassination of the interim president and
junta leader Assimi Gouti. The suspected assassin died when being
held in custody. The National Commission for Human rights has called
for an investigation into his death.
Signatories of the 2015 Algiers agreement met in Kidal in the north
of the country again in July. France restarted its operations against
Jihadists with the Mali army again in early July. At the G5 meeting
(see Niger above) Macron announced that he would close three bases
in Northern Mali and halve the number of French soldiers by early
2022. (Which is also around the date proposed for new elections.)
There were calls for an increase in the number of men deployed by
the UN mission in northern Mali.
In Kulikoro, in the west of the country, jihadist kidnapped three
Chinese and two Mauritanian nationals. The Mali government is seeking
an International address warrant for the son of the previous President
IBK, in the case of a journalist which disappeared in 2016. The son,
Karim Keita is reported to be in the Ivory Coast.
The event of the month was the visit of the new Niger president to
Europe and the G5 conference which he attended (in person) with Macron
His performance at the joint statements, in both France and Germany,
was a complete change from his predecessors, and a complete contrast
to the heads of Tchad and Mali.
He secure increased French participation in his struggle against Jihadists,
and the new Takuba military initiative to be based in Niger. He then
followed up with a visit to Algiers at which he was reported to have
requested military assistance.
Regrettably the regular and frequently fatal conflicts in the South
east of Niger and the Tahoua area have not diminished, but there was
still a plan to relocate 130,00 Nigerians back to north east Nigeria
now the fighting is mitigated.
An article was published about the recent rise in Turkish investments
in Niger, which have included the renovation of the Grand Mosque in
Agades and the Sultan’s palace. An undisclosed military agreement
was signed in 2020, and there were some reports that Turkey wanted
to occupy the old French facilities at Madam, near Libya, since the
French have left. But the French are still active in Niamey, where
a French made “Reaper” drone was deployed for the first
time in action.
A son of the previous president Mohamadou Issoufou was made petroleum
minister under the new president in late July.
On the economic front the WAEMU confirmed that Niger had the highest
percentage of expenditure on capital projects of any country in the
region. Also, a Moroccan group Ymmy Holdings as reported to considering
investing in Niamey to a value of 2.8B euros (yes billions), including
commercial zones, industrial projects, and additional housing.
The seasonal rains hit Niger again this year. 28 deaths and 12,850
homes destroyed. 8 people died when a vehicle near Timia, in the Air
mountains, overturned in a raging Kori (wadi). The northern border
of Algeria was reported open again with restricted traffic due to