Niger: A worrying humanitarian situation around Ouallam after Sunday massacres

A joint mission of the Nigerien government and humanitarian actors visited the region of Tillabéry, in south-eastern Niger, after attacks in Tchoma Bangou and Zaroumadareye that killed 105 people on Sunday. According to a report, the number of displaced people now exceeds 10,000.
More than 1,500 homes, or 10,600 people, have left their homes to flee the violence. In all, twelve villages have been deserted. Most of these people have found refuge in Mangaizé, 45 kilometres north of Ouallam.
“These inhabitants have abandoned everything, they left on foot, and today they need everything,” explains Jean Sébastien Josset, spokesman in Niamey for the UNHCR, the High Commissioner for Refugees.
Today, Mangaizé is protected by the security forces, but the situation in the region remains dangerous. Armed groups are deeply entrenched, as some of the details of the attack mentioned in the report reveal.
Informed of an imminent offensive, the army had been deployed several days earlier in the area of Tchoma Bangou and Zaroumadareye. The assailants waited for its departure to carry out their plan. For nearly a year these localities have been harassed by armed groups who collect zakat, the alms mentioned in the Coran, which is transformed into a tax by terrorist groups.
This situation is causing “renewed tensions within communities” according to the report, which is concerned that some local actors are advocating to take charge of their own defence.

About Geraldine Boechat 1580 Articles
Senior Editor for Medafrica Times and former journalist for Swiss National Television. former NGO team leader in Burundi and Somalia