Niger President Mohamed Bazoum said on Friday 17 December that “Wanted by the French authoritiesAn investigation into the clashes that took place at the end of November on the road to the Barkhane military convoy in western Niger, during which three people were killed, according to Niamey. “As for the French soldiers, the French authorities demanded that an investigation be opened with the aim of punishing those guilty of heinous acts.The President of Niger explained in a radio and television message on the occasion of the 63rd anniversary of the proclamation of the Republic in this former French colony.
This French military convoy that left the Ivorian economic capital Abidjan to reach Gao in Mali, is blocked by protesters in Kaya, central Burkina Faso. He had resumed his journey before he was again interrupted by angry protesters in Tira, western Niger. Three of them were killed in shots some blamed on Nigerian forces, some blamed on French forces.
According to Muhammad Bazoum, “Unfortunate crashes” the “Law Enforcement جهاز” that was “Too much insufficient“for”Ensuring the passage of a French military convoyThis is the origin of these clashes. He also claimed that “order an investigation“by”Competent Services“Nigerians”In order to identify these imbalances and determine the various responsibilitiesAnd an official toll indicated that three demonstrators were killed and 17 wounded.
«Violent demonstrators in Tira obstructed the convoy of the French force Barkhane, guarded by the National Gendarmerie, on its way to Mali.The Nigerian Ministry of the Interior said in a statement. He added, without specifying whether he was referring to the gendarmerie or the strength of Barkhane that “She used force to try to free herself“.Following these events, the Nigerian President replaced the Minister of the Interior Alkash Al-Hada and the Commander-in-Chief of the National Gendarmerie, General Salifu Wakasu, without giving reasons.
Niger faces regular and deadly attacks by jihadist groups linked to al-Qaeda and the Islamic State in the Sahel in the west, and attacks by Boko Haram and the Islamic State in West Africa (ISWAP) in the southeast of the country. Located on the borders with Burkina Faso and Mali, it is a regular transit point for French forces that will ease their presence by reducing their workforce from more than 5,000 today to 3,000 in mid-2022.
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