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.
Hostages and assassinations
No news on the remaining western hostages.
However, a report was published in www.fides.org by one of the local
hostages captured by Boko Harem describing his ordeal.
At the time of this report the “total cases” Covid figures
were: Niger 4,715, Mali 8,256, and Tchad 3,724 cases. Due to different
collection criteria these figures are not completely comparable.
The IOM DTM site reports for all three of the countries are available
on the IOM site covering the month of December.
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
continuing low migrant traffic across the northern borders.
Niger: Madama: around 130/day northwards to Libya: 50/day back from
Libya. Arlit: around 150/day north to Algeria and 50/day back from
Algeria (Note: no monitoring at Assamaka)
Mali: Under 40/day north to Algeria and under 10/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: Very low crossings to Libya still indicated: about 30/day northbound
and 15/day southbound, but again some of these numbers may be internal
migration. It should be noted that there is no monitoring station
The Crisis Group report for Mali in January is sobering, with numerous
reports of conflicts all over Mali. Two more French soldiers were
killed by landmines this month, and numerous UN and Mali soldiers
lost their lives in other conflicts. In addition, numerous intertribal
conflicts were reported in mid Mali throughout the month.
Boubou Cisse, the last prime minister under the previous president
of Mali, IBK, accused of attempting a coup against the new military-backed
rule after the recent coup, is still at home and has not been arrested.
Meanwhile the new interim president of the transition, Bah N’Daw
made a very low key visit to France.
A helicopter (in one report,and a pair of fighter jets in another
report) of the French air force reportedly bombed a wedding party
in the village of Bounti in southern Mali early in January mistaking
the crowd for terrorists. At least one international agency has called
for an investigation. The French have denied the accusation.
Another operation in late January in the far south of the country
by French led forces near Niger was claimed to have killed at least
There was another demonstration in Bamako protesting the presence
of the French troops in Mali.
In the far north of the country, another inter-group conflict has
reportedly led to a settlement between rebel groups in the town of
The Presidential election continued to dominate
the news in Niger this period. The next round is due on 21st February.
The two candidates, Mohammed Bazoum and Mahamane Ousmane are campaigning
actively and trying to capture the votes from the supporters of the
candidates defeated in the first round.
Another US drone crashed near Agadez In January but was not so badly
damaged as the one which crashed last year. The US air force secretary
Barbara M. Barrett visited Niger in early January.
The leading presidential candidate in the first round of the Presidential
elections, Mohammed Bazoum expressed the hope that Niger would soon
be able to export electricity. (Generated using its oil perhaps?).
No details were available.
Aid from Denmark to people made homeless by the recent floods in Niger
arrived and was distributed in mid-January.
The Boko Harem Islamic group has started to lay homemade landmines
inside Niger. Four Niger soldiers were killed by this these land mines
in January. More details on the attack in late December at Zaroumdareye
in south eastern Niger were published. The death toll was confirmed
as above 100. But as always reports vary in detail.
A four way interchange on several levels is due to be built in Niamey.
The financial scandal associated with weapons purchases over the last
few years in Niger continues. FinCen files released by a local newspaper
named two small UK companies through which significant sums were claimed
to have been passed.
A Portuguese company has started work on a new rail links between
Maradi and Kano, where it will link up to a train to the south of
Nigeria and the coast.
The local cellular company MOOV Niger has been reconstituted as MOOV
The Covid epidemic has affected many activities in Tchad. The central
court house in N’Djamena for example, is reported quiet. But
the restrictions imposed in late December against Covid were partially
relaxed during the month.
However, bans on marches and demonstrations in the capital continue.
The opposition complains that this does not allow them to campaign
effectively for the presidential election this April.
But somethings continue, despite the Covid epidemic. The nomadic tribes
people north of the capital typically come south at this time of the
year and pass through the capital with their goats and camels. This
year was no exception.
Tchad has requested a restructuring of its debt with major overseas
public creditors as a result of the Covid epidemic.
A solar power plant was inaugurated in the town of Lai, in the south
of the country.
The Tchad human rights commission CNHD has reported increased human
trafficking in Tchad, with people being taken to the northern border
and sold for some 400 Euros a head in Libya.
The vice president of the Sudan came to visit the Tchad President
Reports of conflicts in the far east on the border with Sudan have
appeared in the press. There was one report that indicated that Tchad
based fighters had attacked El Geneina city close to the border inside
Sudan. The Tchad government denied this but some 2-3000 people were
reported to have come into Tchad to avoid the fighting.
In the far south the CAR claimed that Tchad was involved in the fighting
near Bangui. After a visit by the President of the national assembly
of the CAR to the capital of Tchad N’Djamena to meet the Tchad
President, this claim was withdrawn.
In the far north a conflict was reported between Goranes and Zagawas
north of Wour. The reports are vague but seem to indicate that some
members of the Tchad armed forces on leave attacked some Goranes in
Kouri Bougoudi , (near the Libyan border), who fought back.
Fighting between farmers and herders over land use continued in central
and southern Tchad. Another offensive by Boko Harem rebels near Lake
Tchad caused some 1000 people to move to the mainland from some Lake
One report indicated that the French presented Tchad with nine light
tanks to assist the Tchad army in its fight against Jihadists.
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