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Mann Taylor's Home Page
News Update, October, 2018
update has been compiled by Christer Wilkinson from a variety
To everyone’s surprise Vital Metals, a gold mining conglomerate,
pulled out of a gold mining agreement at Boula, in the south west
of Niger, claiming low grade mineral deposits as reason.
An MSF doctor was expelled from Niger by the government on the grounds
that she was issuing false malaria case information.
The slow penetration of US and European military into Niger has started
to be noticed internationally.
The government claimed that it had reduced the number of migrants
leaving Niger for Europe by 90%. Certainly in Agades there were another
serious of press reports highlighting the impact of this reduction
on the local economy. However, this month the IOM- DTM site indicated
a significant rise to 6000 a month out of Niger after several months
of reductions. Traffic into and out of Algeria is minimal.
Yet another article appeared about the gold mining in northern Niger.
The report claimed that a 30,000 (!) person town was now near the
finds. (The google earth imagery is too old to show anything).
There was another report about the transfer of migrants across the
south Algerian frontier to Assamakka in Niger. There was a protest
by an UN agency which was promptly refuted by the Algerian government.
Two Chinese companies have been given permission to look for uranium
in Niger, in the Arlit region. Note that they also have oil permits
further east near Agadem.
Reports have come in of people in Niger moving away from the Mali
border, towards Tahoua to avoid the conflict spill overs in this area.
The British government announced that they planned to open an embassy
in Niger in Niamey.
No new western hostages were reported and unfortunately there was
no news about those currently held.
There was another conflict in the north of Tchad north of the Tibesti
mountains, at the end of October and near the Libyan border, but reports
and locations of the conflict and the outcome differ between reports.
Another press report indicated that a sub prefect at Yebbi Bou, a
town in the Tibesti region, resigned due to what he considered to
be indiscriminate bombing of houses and civilians in response to a
reported rebel attack. The Tchad government denies these claims.
Some reports state these occurred at Miski. But this appears to be
used as the name of a region not a specific location, and to make
matters more complex the “Google” location, (as well as
most conventional location sources) clearly have the wrong location.
The Tilho report on Tchad identifies this area as an Enneri (wadi)
south of Yebbi Bou and north of Bini Erdi.
Several government reports stated that found numerous people in a
state of bondage at the unauthorized gold mines in this area. (But
no mention is made about the mines actually on the border with Libya
near the three way frontier junction with Niger). They claimed to
release from servitude at least 1000 such people from the mines after
their military action. One case of mistreatment was a video published
on the internet in late September.
General Haftar, the head of the government in eastern Libya, visited
Tchad again to meet with the Tchad president Deby. (The history of
this individual, and his involvement with Tchad in the 80s was covered
in a previous report)
There is almost no change in the overall refugee situation in Tchad
from last month with large number so refugees in the east, south and
near lake Tchad.
After 25 years, Acheikh Ibn Omar, Minister of Foreign affairs 1989-90
under Hissene Habre returned to Tchad under an amnesty arrangement.
No news from the IOM DTM on Tchad : migration figures are not available
this month. The site is under some sort of maintenance and their reports
are not available for this news report.
Back to another period of deadly conflicts in the north of Mali again,
A major attack was reported early in Oct near Asongo,close to border
with Niger: at least 25 civilians were reported killed. Reports vary
on details and which groups were involved.
There was another major incident involving the French forces in late
October near Gourem south of Gao, and two UN soldiers from the peacekeeping
force were killed in an attack near Timbuctoo. In another incident
another French soldier was killed. Earlier one French soldier died
due to a non-combat accident.
The continued insecurity in the town of Gao led to a strike by teachers
in this town in northern Mali in mid -October causing the schools
The latest Mali government statistics do show a significant number
of refuges returning in Mali, but there are still 150,000 taking refuge
in neighbouring countries, predominately Mauritania and Niger. The
IOM DTM report on Mali migration figures are available was also not
available for this news update.
In late October there was protest in the town of Gao about the re-division
of the country into new districts by the Mali government and the lack
of implementation of the Algiers peace accord.