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Mann Taylor's Home Page
Sahara News Update, June, 2019
update has been compiled by Christer Wilkinson from a variety
Conflict Group Report
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.
This month there was no news on the western hostages, but a report
on the 33 women and 6 children abducted from Ngalewa near Diffa nearly
two years ago indicated that none had so far been released.
The IOM DTM site reports were available in time for this report.
DTM Niger (May 2019)
A total of 2000 migrants a day were reported, almost equally balanced
(in-out). Traffic into Niger from Libya was greater than into Niger
but traffic to Algeria north was greater than from Algeria south.
The greatest number recorded was at Arlit.
DTM Tchad (May 2019)
The monitoring stations in the north of Tchad are still inoperative.
The IOM reports a total of only 350 migrants each day with largest
flows from the north at Kouri and arriving in the south at Sarh.
DTM Mali (May 2019)
A total of only 238 migrants a day recorded almost equally balanced
(in-out). The flows were mostly to the north into Algeria and east
At the end of the month another attack by rebels was reported on a
military base near Inates in the west of Niger. Oddly no casualties
Hama Amadou, a former prime minister was requested to be extradited
from Benin to Niger by the current Niger President.
The IOM confirmed that 20,000 migrants had been rescued from the desert
in Niger the last 3 years.
A new parliamentary electoral code was adopted in Niger: the opposition
boycotted the vote.
Following the long running dispute over taxation the “Orange’
Telecom Company decided to leave Niger and is looking for buyers.
In md June there was an attack on a police station near Niamey which
killed at least two officers. Around the same time a joint military
mission by French, American, and Niger soldiers reportedly killed
some 18 EIGS rebels in the west of the country. Early in June an American
vehicle was hit by a mine near Oullam without casualties.
In June the Niger president announced that he had agreed to have a
UAE base in northern Niger to help protect the border with Libya.
It should be noted that UAE support the Haftar led government based
in the east of the country.
In Maradi a Church was burnt in mid-June following the arrest of a
local Muslim Iman. Near Diffa a threat was posted to local Christians
telling them to leave. Several families have left for Niamey. In the
same town four reported suicide bombers were shot in June.
The new airport building at Niamey was opened in Mid-June having been
constructed by the Turkish group Summa, which has won several other
government contracts in Niger.
Orena, (previously Areva, the French Nuclear group)) announced the
closure of another mine in Niger due to the low price of Uranium.
The UN announced that some 11% of the population in Niger needed humanitarian
The attacks on Dogon villages in central Mali continued throughout
An attack in early June was initially determined to have 95 causalities
but this was downgraded to 24 children and 12 adults. The attack prompted
a demand that the UN mission extend its scope to the south at its
regular time extension at the UN Security Council. This was agreed,
and an expansion of their scope to the central region commenced in
Unfortunately there was yet another attack in the same region which
claimed some 38 lives late in June. As usual, the casualty count in
both these incidents varies between reports.
A new alliance supporting the president in the Mali parliament was
announced in early June. The mandate of all the parliamentary representatives
was also extended to 2020 “to better meet the requirements for
elections”, against some opposition protests.
Another meeting of the CAS, the agency monitoring the Algiers peace
agreement for the north of Mali was held in Kidal this June. Kidal
is still being administered by rebel groups and has no civil Mali
administration according to reports. Lack of progress in this area
has held up the overall peace progress.
There was yet another report about Iyad Ag Ghali, the founder of Answar
Eddine and later GSIM. His family apparently lives in Tin Zaouatine,
(on the Algerian side) and he has received medical treatment in Tamanrasset.
The US embassy requested the government to allow demonstrations, after
the recent banning of some events. The Tchad government promptly rejected
Two members of the CCMSR (a rebel group based in Libya) who had been
captured were tried and sentenced to life imprisonment.
Some 11 people (of which only four were in custody) were sentenced
to life for being mercenaries and attempting to support a coup in
There was a big push at a trade conference in the capital N’Djamena
to get investment in Tchad from the Arab world.
The international company Glencore, which lent the Tchad government
funds to buy out some of the Tchad oil assets from other western companies,
wants to leave Tchad and is looking for a buyer for its remaining
It was reported that Tchad has yet to pay its contribution to the
The Singapore Company Olam has become a shareholder in the national
cotton company “Cotton Tchad” and has paid off last year’s
debts to cotton producers in Tchad in an attempt to boost production.
Cotton production has plummeted in recent years from around 300k tones
to 20k tones.
A previous rebel leader, Mohammed Nour (who led the coup attempt in
2008) and two other suspects were arrested in France for crimes against
humanity as part of their rebel movements. These three rebel leaders
have been living in France for some time and the timing of these arrests
was questioned by some reports. Another opponent of the Tchad government,
Abakar Tollimi was arrested in June.
In one report both the Chadian Supplier Traders and the National Union
of Traders complained about delays in receiving payment from the government
for goods and services.
The mayor of N’djamena was suspended for insubordination. There
was also yet another shuffle of government ministers in the Tchad
In the south, the frontier with the RCA is open again for trade after
several years being closed.
A high member of the military junta ruling Sudan (at that time) paid
a discrete visit to Tchad to discuss security and to try and negotiate
a final agreement for a cease fire with the rebels in Darfur.