update has been compiled by Christer Wilkinson from a variety
Conflict Group Reports
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.
The body of Beatrice Stockli was handed over to the Mali authorities.
She had been reported killed last year. The identity of the body was
verified by DNA analysis. She had been held by the Islamicist group
JNIM. No details of the location of the body were reported.
At the time of this report the “total cases” Covid figures
were: Niger 5,072, Mali 11,705 and Tchad 4,636 cases. Due to different
collection criteria these figures are not completely comparable.
The IOM DTM site reports for two of the countries were available on
the IOM site covering the month of February at the time of this report.
It should be noted that these figures 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
The figures (estimated where full details are not available) show
increasing migrant traffic across the northern borders of Niger.
Niger: Madama: around 157/day northwards to Libya: 69/day back from
Libya. Arlit: around 240/day north to Algeria and 67/day back from
Algeria (Note: no monitoring at Assamaka)
Mali: Under 20/day north to Algeria and under 20/day southbound from
Algeria, summed over all north monitored entry points. Note: no monitoring
at Kidal so some of these numbers may be internal migration.
Tchad: no report again this month.
The Crisis Group report for Mali for February contains the now only
too familiar and depressing sequence of reports of violent incidents
all over Mali. But a ceasefire was agreed at the town of Faranougou,
and progress may have been made in getting a settlement between the
Fulani and Dogon peoples.
The Interim Legislative Body’s National Transitional Council
VP Issa Kaou Djim on the 6 March was reported to have called on transition’s
VP Colonel Assimi Goïta to contest the next presidential election:
this despite the transition government’s charter barring interim
leaders from being candidates.
Influential cleric Mahmoud Dicko next day criticized the interim government’s
handling of the transition: this followed a similar compliant by the
Details of payment for the release of Soumaila Cisse last year were
made by an individual named Bibi who in the past was reported to have
fought alongside Iyad Ag Ghaly. The sum reported was 2m Euros. It
was not clear how much was also paid for the western hostages.
The MUNISMA report on the incident at Bouti (in southern Mali earlier
this year) was published. At least 29 people were killed. The report
confirmed that it was a wedding party which was attacked by the French
forces in error. The French military disputed the methodology of the
The Bamako Court of Appeals 2 March dismissed charges of “a
plot against the state” against five politicians, including
former PM Boubou Cissé .
The major news of the month was the two major rebel attacks in western
A series of raids by Jihadists at three villages in the Tahoua region
near the Mali border on the 21st March killed at least 141 civilians.
Casualties and locations vary between reports. The attackers arrived
on motorbikes and were reported to have shot at anything which moved.
In one report it was stated that the attackers drive off thousands
A previous series of attacks further west near Tillabery, on March
15th , killed 66 people, mostly from the local Zarma population. The
ISGS jihadist group was identified as being responsible. This attack
was by ambushing passenger vehicles. Several other attacks took place
in other towns in the area around this time frame, in which several
people were reported killed: the ISWAP jihadist group was identified
as responsible for these attacks.
The presidential election results (held the previous month) were disputed
by the runner up Mahamane Ousmane, by filing an appeal with the constitutional
court. However, the court ruled that the ruling party candidate, Mohammed
Bazoum was indeed elected president. Ousmane claimed that his appeal
had not been properly processed.
At the end of the month an attempted coup was reported in Niamey with
a group of military assaulting the presidential place. The force was
repulsed. No details of casualties or those responsible were available
in time for this report.
There has been an expansion of the US base at Dirkou reported based
on recent satellite imagery: note that Madama is reported no longer
occupied by the French Military.
Cominak confirmed that the Uranium mine near Arlit at Akouta was shutting
down at the end of March after over 40 years of operation. The company
claimed it would return the mine to its natural state and help find
employment for the 600 staff no longer required.
There was a fight between two miners at a gold mine “near Arlit”
which resulted in the death of one of the miners.
The main events in Tchad this month have been political and focused
on the presidential election due to be held early April. The current
President, Déby, is standing for a sixth consecutive term,
and as reported last month political tensions are high and the opposition
is claiming suppression.
Following the late February raid on the home of the presidential candidate
and reported former rebel leader Yaya Dillo, (as reported in last
month’s report), a main opposition leader Saleh Kebzabo withdrew
his presidential candidacy citing “climate of insecurity”.
This raid also sparked international reaction: on the 5th March the
French Foreign mister and the Africa Union commission chair reportedly
asked the Tchad authorities to launch independent investigation into
the deadly raid at Dillo’s home and hold those responsible for
the killings accountable. The UN Secretary General Guterres had previously
called on the government to “favor political dialogue ahead
of forthcoming elections and continue efforts to foster an inclusive
Meanwhile on the 3rd March the Tchad Supreme Court on the 3rd March
approved 10 of 17 candidacies for presidential election, including
a previous prime minister, Albert Pahimi Padacke. (The list also included
Kebzabo and two other candidates who also decided to withdraw )
The next day a group of opposition parties, were reported to have
launched “Wakit Tama” (roughly translated: Now Is The
Time) platform against President Déby’s sixth term bid.
In mid-month the president Déby met Succès Masra, leader
of opposition party “Les Transformateurs”, whose presidential
candidacy was rejected by the Supreme Court for failing to meet cut-off
age requirements. Masra reportedly called for the postponement of
the vote to allow time for “dialogue between all actors”
prior to election. This was not obtained, but Masra obtained long-awaited
official recognition of his party – allowing it to run in next
legislative and communal elections.
Then on 19 March, Kebzabo called on supporters to boycott the election
and on other opposition candidates to withdraw: following which appeal,
hundreds of opposition supporters the next day demonstrated against
Déby’s sixth term bid in capital N’Djamena The
police arrested at least 40: most released same day.
The presidential campaigning even reached Bardaia, in the far north
of the Tibesti Mountains, where the former minister, Mahamat Abali
Salah was campaigning on behalf of the president.
In a separate incident in the capital later in the month, some soldiers
shot and killed two teachers: the public prosecutor 26th March stated
that a soldier had been arrested and investigation was under way.
A couple of days later police had to dispersed demonstration in N’Djamena
calling for justice and reparation for bereaved families.
On the lighter side, Tchad faces suspension by the Confederation of
African Football, after the minister of youth and sports dissolved
the Federation of Chad Football Associations in March. However, Tchad
has no upcoming international fixtures having been knocked out of
the 2022 World Cup and also having been disqualified for the Africa
Cup of Nations.