Citizens Coalition for the Sahel condemns deadly attacks on civilians in Niger

Press release
en es fr

Niamey — The Citizens’ Coalition for the Sahel condemns in the strongest possible terms the attacks on civilians that have left more than 200 people dead in Niger over the past few days in the Tahoua and Tillabery regions in the west of the country. The West African civil society organisations that are members of the Citizens’ Coalition pay tribute to all the victims and welcome the decision of the Nigerien authorities to declare a three-day national mourning period.

These tragic events, which follow the death of over 100 civilians in a series of attacks in early January, are a reminder of the urgency of making the protection of civilians the top priority in the response to the multidimensional crisis in the central Sahel (Niger, but also Mali and Burkina Faso). The recent attacks also underline the limits of the current counter-terrorism approach, which fails to prevent further violence against the population. To the contrary, civilians are increasingly vulnerable, as demonstrated by the large-scale displacement of people following the latest attacks.

"We are deeply saddened by this tragic loss of innocent life in our country. These horrific attacks in Niger mark the failure of a security strategy that has prioritised ’neutralising terrorists’ over investing in actions to provide sustainable security for the people of the Sahel. A new approach is urgently needed, not only in political statements but also in practice," declared Sita Adamou, President of the Nigerian Association for the Defence of Human Rights, which is member of the Citizens’ Coalition.

The Citizens’ Coalition for the Sahel is calling for a shift in priorities to respond more effectively to the crisis in the region, focusing on the protection of civilians, a political solution that addresses the root causes of instability, addressing the humanitarian emergency and fighting impunity. These four priorities will be the subject of concrete and quantifiable recommendations to the governments of the region and their international partners, in a report by the Citizens’ Coalition, "Sahel: What Needs to Change - For a New Approach Focused on the Needs of the People", to be published on 15 April 2021.

Read more

  • Co-signatories

    Signatory Organisations
    1. African Security Sector Network (ASSN)
    2. Afrikajom Center, Think tank basé à Dakar
    3. Association Malienne des Droits de l’Homme (AMDH), Mali
    4. Association Nigérienne de Défense des Droits de l’Homme, Niger
    5. Centre Afrika Obota (CAO), Niger
    6. Centre Diocésain de Communication (CDC), Ouahigouya, Burkina Faso
    7. Collectif contre l’impunité et la stigmatisation des communautés (CISC), Burkina Faso
    8. Coordination des associations des femmes de l’Azawad (CAFA), Mali
    9. Doniblog, Mali
    10. Fédération internationale pour les droits humains (FIDH)
    11. Mouvement Burkinabé pour la Defense des Droits de l’Homme et des Peuples
    (MBDHP), Burkina Faso
    12. Observatoire Kisal
    13. Réseau nigérien pour la gestion non violente des conflits (RE-GENOVICO), Niger
    14. Réseau Panafricain Pour la Paix, la Démocratie et le Développement (REPPADD), Niger
    15. Wathi, Think tank basé à Dakar
    16. West Africa Network for Peacebuilding (WANEP), Niger
    17. Women in Law and Development (WILDAF), Mali

  • Member organisations - Niger

Take action