Attacks on two Niger villages kill at least 100
Islamic extremists attacked two villages in Niger near its border with Mali, killing at least 100 people. The villages in the insecure Tillaberi region were attacked on Saturday after locals killed two fighters. The attacks took place the same day the West African nation's electoral commission announced that the presidential elections would be heading to a second round.
Condolences and moral support to the villages
Prime Minister Brigi Rafini traveled to the two villages of Tchombangou and Zaroumdareye a day after the attack. "We came to provide moral support and present the condolences of the President of the Republic, the Government, and the entire Niger nation," he said.
History of terrorism and its effects on the nation
Niger has endured several attacks by Islamic extremists, including the Nigeria-based Boko Haram, and fighters linked to the Islamic State group and al-Qaeda. Thousands of people have been killed and hundreds of thousands have been displaced, despite the presence of regional and international troops. According to Global Terrorism Index, 2020, Niger ranks 24th with a score of 5.617.
Democratic elections and a hope for better future
The West African country is expected to see its first democratic transition of power since independence in 1960. Some 7.4 million Nigeriens were registered to vote on December 27 to elect the successor to President Mahamadou Issoufou, who has served two terms and is stepping down. According to the results, a second-round will be needed after none of the 28 candidates won a majority.