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The EIGS group expands its hold in northern Niger

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                In Niger, the Ministers of the Interior, Defense and Humanitarian Action went to the scene of the Tillia massacre on Thursday, in the Tahoua region, in the north of the country.  Several attacks have taken place in the last ten days in the region.  Everything suggests that they would be carried out by the Islamic State group in the great Sahara (EIGS).  The EIGS has largely extended its control over this part of the three border zone between Mali, Niger and Burkina-Faso.

                                    <p>On Sunday armed men killed 157 civilians in nomadic camps.  Local sources speak of<strong>a toll that would even exceed 200 victims</strong>.  At least 13 people were killed in the Tillabéry region in the west of the country on Wednesday.  Barely ten days after the attack on Banibangou, still in Tillabéry, which left 66 dead.

Since 2020, Tillabéry and the Tahoua region have become fallback bases for the EIGS. Previously installed in Ménaka, in northeastern Mali, this group was pushed back across the border by the French force Barkhane and its allies, but also by the Support Group for Islam and Muslims, another terrorist faction in the region.

EIGS blows ” on the embers of community tensions »

A year later, the EIGS has regained its strength, in particular thanks to a significant recruiting capacity in these isolated areas, where the populations feel abandoned. ” EIGS has strong links in Niger with certain communities, explains a security analyst, to the detriment of others, who oppose collaboration and suffer violent attacks. »

« Blowing the embers of community tensions is an integral part of their strategy », Explains a fighter in the region.

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The timing, too, would not have been left to chance. “ Even if these attacks could be related to conflicts with local roots, the leaders of the EIGS probably appreciated the opportunity to mark in their own way the recent election to the head of Niger of Mohamed Bazoum, explains Lemine Ould Salem, journalist, specialist in jihadist groups in the Sahel. Former Minister of the Interior, Mohamed Bazoum is one of the major architects of the country’s security policy. »

►Also read: In Niger, in a heavy context, the Sahel Security Forum is coming to an end


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