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Thread: Niger: a Sahel country bumping along (catch all)

  1. #61
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default Niger Islamic State hostage: 'They want to kill foreign soldiers'

    An excellent article from 'The Guardian', helped by having access to a Nigerien National Guard soldier who was held by ISIS (his outpost being overrun) and helps to explain the background. Tribes or clans, cattle, guns and more - plus some religion. So a key section:
    Sahraoui, the leader and founder, may be a jihadist pledged to Islamic State, but his camel and motorbike-mounted militants are very different to ISIS fighters in Iraq and Syria.

    Sahraoui is thought to be originally from the disputed territory of Western Sahara and spent time in Algeria before coming to Mali. After years at the Movement for Unity and Jihad in West Africa (MUJAO) and the al-Qaida-linked group al-Murabitoun, he split off to found ISGS, piggybacking on a conflict on the Niger-Mali border that had been rumbling on for decades and was ripe for exploitation.

    The people he chose – nomadic Fulani herders in the regions of Tillabéri and Tahoua – had been feuding with the Daoussahak Tuareg of the Ménaka region in Mali for decades.

    “The Tillabéri problem is an ethnic problem,” said a Nigerien intelligence officer who had worked on the region for decades. “The Fulani have a problem with the Tuareg, and jihadists profited from the situation.”
    Link:https://www.theguardian.com/world/20...reign-soldiers
    Last edited by davidbfpo; 06-05-2018 at 10:40 AM. Reason: 38,712v
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  2. #62
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default Experts Differ with Official Report on Niger Ambush

    Worth watching a short, seven minute video casting doubt on the DoD version of events:
    In this video, Donald Bolduc, the former commander of special operations in Africa, and Jack Murphy, an eight-year army special forces veteran, speak about the report. Some of their assessments differ from the findings laid out by the Pentagon about what went wrong.
    Link:https://www.wsj.com/articles/experts...ush-1528752372
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  3. #63
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default Did the mission follow these rules of engagement?

    In June 2016 a French parliamentary committee held a hearing with the French SF CO, about their role and capacity - asking him to describe some typical operations that French SF conducted. He answered referring to operations in West Africa:
    An operation always starts with an intelligence phase...We seek first to understand the organization of the enemy, so as to optimise our leverage.....Once you have solid information , you have a mission preparation phase, which assumes an even greater degree of certainty about your objectives and context. Finally comes the time of the action, and all means of action can be considered.
    The linked report cites a published French parliamentary report, without a link and the quote can be found on pg.28. See:https://remotecontrolproject.org/pub...pecial-forces/
    davidbfpo

  4. #64
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default Two reports on the Sahel: Mali & Niger

    The first is a BBC News photo essay 'The war in the desert; Why the Sahara is terror's new front line'. IT has a few interesting, though not new quotes. This refers o the UN peacekeepers, almost 14,000 peacekeepers from nearly 60 different countries:
    Different countries accept different levels of risk. Many are simply going through the motions - counting down the days, trying to stay alive, and having little real impact in a place where it’s nearly impossible to keep the peace.

    Then citing the UN Force Commander: I need better equipped and better trained contingents. I need more vehicles… to protect my people against the IEDs [improvised explosive devices] and mines and so on and I need to upgrade the training level of my contingents.

    Then the trade in migrants / refugees in Niger: Criminal gangs moved in and the desert tour guides became human traffickers, carrying lorry-loads of migrants north to the shores of the Mediterranean Sea. This thriving industry provides both cash and cover for the radical, violent, extremist groups assembling across the Sahara.

    On external funding of mosques and schools:Towering over a second meeting is a new white and green mosque, which smells of fresh paint. The UN says Qatari money paid for the building - like Saudi Arabia, here and in other parts of Africa they have a programme that provides new mosques and preachers to teach a very conservative form of Islam.
    Link:https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/resources..._in_the_desert

    The references to an attack @ Timbuktu are to an attack in April 2018, so this report may have taken time to reach publication

    The second article, published yesterday in 'The Guardian' is headlined: 'New terrorist threat as EU stance on migrants triggers disquiet in Niger;

    Efforts to buttress Europe’s borders have left people smugglers in Niger jobless and ripe for exploitation by jihadist groups'. It opens with:
    Thousands of men who transported, fed, and housed the hundreds of thousands of migrants who used to cross the impoverished west African country are now unemployed and could easily be exploited by one of the major jihadist groups operating in the region, said leaders in the remote former migrant hub of Agadez.
    Link:https://www.theguardian.com/global-d...odes-ill-niger

    That is simply weird and appears to contradict the BBC report!

    I will copy this to the Mali and UN Peacekeeping threads for reference.
    davidbfpo

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