Regional News

Niger: Hundreds of people demonstrate against escalating insecurity in Tillabéri

Hundreds of people took to the streets in Tillabéri on Saturday, September 18, to protest against severe and escalating insecurity.

Civil society had launched the call for national cohesion and protest against the “very real problem” of insecurity.

According to civil society officials, it was a question of putting pressure on the highest authorities so that the promise of the head of state to “restore peace very quickly” in the region was kept.

They promised to march again until peace returned to the area.

Since 2017, the Tillabéri region had been facing this climate of insecurity which had escalated in recent years.

Access to state services by citizens had been reduced or was non-existent.

In the field of education, children had paid a heavy price for the attacks.

At the end of January 22,876 pupils, including 10,513 girls, had been prevented from going to school in the localities of Abala, Banibangou, Makalondi, Sanam, Sakoira, Tamou, Tondikiwindi, Torodi, Ayorou, Anzourou, Dessa , Bankilare, Gothèye, Diagourou, Dargol, Gorouol, Filingue because increased insecurity had resulted in the schools closing their doors. Even now, 312 schools remained closed in the Tillabéri region.

In the field of health, since February, eight integrated health centres and 24 health huts had remained closed in seven departments of the region.

This had deprived more than 30,000 people having access to healthcare while epidemics, such as measles, meningitis and COVID-19, were raging in Abala, Tillabéri, Say, Gothèye and Ayorou.

The population no longer had access to water and had minimal hygiene conditions: 12 sites had stopped operating in the departments of Banibangou, Bankilaré, Filingué and Ouallam, where more than 12,000 people live.

The population did not have access to clean and safe drinking water because of the persistent insecurity, which prevented keeping the necessary infrastructure working.

In the humanitarian field, more than 100,000 people had fled from insecurity and violence, according to the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR).

The agency said in a report in April that the rapidly deteriorating security context had caused increased internal displacement flows with rising numbers every month.

The presence of armed groups across the border had caused movements of a few thousand citizens from Burkina Faso into Niger.

The security threat was forcing people to flee their homes and was depriving vulnerable communities of critical basic services as armed groups directly targeted schools, health centres and other infrastructure.

The agency said the civilian population was victim to extortion, targeted killings, cattle theft and shop looting.

 

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