Sep. 15 (EUROPA PRESS) –
The Niger authorities have given permission to a protest called on Sunday in the capital, Niamey, by a coalition of civil society organizations that oppose the presence of French troops in the African country.
According to information collected by the ActuNiger news portal, the deputy mayor and president of the Niamey Local Council, Oumarou Moumouni Dogari, has announced the withdrawal of the ban on protests in the city, in force for five years, to allow the demonstration of the M62.
The decision, adopted after an appeal filed by the Pan-African Network for Peace, Democracy and Development (REPPAD), will therefore allow the M62 –made up of about 15 organizations– to demonstrate to protest against the rise in life in the country.
The M62 had requested permission to hold this protest in mid-August after a conference in which they denounced the restriction of civil liberties and the increase in fuel prices, although the Niamey authorities refused to grant the necessary permits.
The coalition was created to demand the withdrawal of troops from the ‘Barkhane’ force, following a repositioning of French soldiers in the country after the end of the deployment in Mali as a result of tensions with the military junta that emerged from the August coup. of 2020.
The president of Niger, Mohamed Bazoum, stated in May that the G5 Sahel “is dead” after the departure of the Mali bloc and affirmed that Western countries “have to make more sacrifices” in the context of the fight against jihadist groups in this region of the African continent.
He also asked his French counterpart, Emmanuel Macron, for “a more consistent ‘Barkhane’ presence and more equipment for the armies.” “Westerners take a lot of precautions during operations. They should allow a little more sacrifice and not be haunted by losses,” he said, amid growing opposition within the country to the presence of French troops.
Niger, like other countries in the region, has suffered an uptick in attacks by jihadist groups in recent years. The violence has also caused the displacement of thousands of people, both within the country and across borders.
The country faces a terrorist threat in the west from the Al Qaeda branch in Mali, the Support Group for Islam and Muslims (JNIM), and the Islamic State in the Greater Sahara (ISGS). Likewise, the Diffa region, bathed by Lake Chad, is the scene of relatively frequent attacks by Boko Haram and its offshoot, the Islamic State in West Africa (ISWA).