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
After last month’s burst of activity, no new news on the remaining
western hostages. However, across the border in Nigeria are reports
of large attacks and kidnappings by Boko Harem.
At the time of this report the “total cases” figures were:
Niger 2,199, Mali 5,814, and Tchad 1,751 cases. Due to different collection
criteria these figures are not completely comparable.
The IOM DTM site reports for two of the three countries are available
on the IOM site for the month of October for Niger and Mali, and September
It should be noted that the 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 organized rescues.
The figures (estimated where full details are not available) show
continuing low migrant traffic across the borders.
Niger: Madama: 100/day northwards to Libya: 50/day back from Libya.
Arlit: 50/day north to Algeria and 25/day back from Algeria (Note:
no monitoring at Assamaka)
Mali: Under 50/day north to Algeria and about the same 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: (September) very low crossings to Libya indicated: about 30/day
northbound and 30/day south bound, but again some of these numbers
may be internal migration.
The count of refugees has not been mentioned in these reports for
some time. The latest figures indicate that some 141,000 Mali refugees
are in neighboring countries, with 287,000 internally displaced people,
and there are still some 365,000 refugees in eastern Tchad. (See Tchad
section below). The count of refugees, and internally displaced people
near Lake Tchad is more complicated as it is split between four countries,
but the total is estimated to be over 2.5m.
There are continued arguments over the composition of the interim
government following the military coup earlier this year, particularly
by the opposition group M5-RFP who claim that despite their role in
toppling IBK, the previous President, do not have a commensurate role.
Indeed , the number of active military officers appointed to government
positions is slowly increasing.
In central Mali violent incidents are steadily increasing and it is
not clear which are intergroup conflicts, and which are Jihadist acts,
In mid-month a French military action in the Pogol n’Daki area
reported to have killed at least 50 Jihadists. The French also claimed
to have killed a senior JNIM commander, Bah ag Mousa near Menaka,
in an air operation in the first half of November.
Conflicts in the far north of the county seem to have reduced, except
for some attacks on several French bases in the north including Kidal
and Gao. These attacks were undertaken using rockets of some sort.
The JNIM rebel group claimed responsibility.
The forthcoming Presidential election is dominating news in Niger.
The current President, Mohammed Issoufou is not standing and there
is an election to determine a successor in late December. This event
is not that common in Africa.
The election has of course polarized the population with a number
supporting the ruling party and the president’s recommended
candidate, Mohamed Bazoum and others supporting the leader of the
opposition Hana Amadou.
The latter held several large demonstrations but then he was declared
not eligible, for having spent one year in Prison for supposed child
trafficking. This opened an opportunity for Ibrahim Yacouba, of the
MPN. Mohamed Bazoum was also investigated for eligibility but determined
eligible. There are numerus other candidates.
The threat from Boko Harem in the south east of the country remains:
but incidents are low and significantly less compared with Nigeria
to the south. Unfortunately, security round Tillabery in the west
is reported to be decreasing, with increasing violent incidents.
A recently published UN report on this year’s flooding in Niger
indicates that more people than previously reported were affected.
Some 549,000 people and 63 deaths with 43,000 collapsed houses are
the new figures.
Mohamadou Tandja, a previous ruler of Niger until 2010 has died in
the capital Niamey.
The Tibesti mountains in the north of Tchad near to Libya, have seen
some activity. After the revocation of the agreement with the self-defense
forces of Miski, some Tchad military were reported to have moved north.
But there were no reports of significant incidents. As always, this
area has limited reports available. But a small forum of representatives
from the BET regions (Borkou Ennedi and Tibesti, did meet as part
of the national inclusive forum (see below).
The recent oil price rise has helped the finances of Tchad which is
in better state financially than some of its neighbours.
The refugees in the eastern Tchad are still in place. The UN estimates
that some 375,000 are still there as refuges from Sudan. But the recent
peace agreements and regime change in Khartoum give hopes that more
can be relocated back to Sudan. But some refugees state they are still
awaiting implementation of the Juba peace agreement, signed in October.
The Lake Tchad area is still plagued with raids by Boko Harem or its
spin-off groups: but not as badly as the raids into northern Nigeria.
A significant number of people are still displaced from the Lake area
to neighboring areas to get away from the Jihadist activities.
A national Inclusive forum organized by the Tchad government took
place in N’Djamena, but it was boycotted by the opposition “The
Transformers” who demonstrated against the forum. A previous
rebel leader Abdelwahid Aboud Mackaye, came from Cairo to attend the
forum and had a meeting with the Tchad President. Mackaye’s
career started with the first president of Tchad: Tombalbaya.