Niger. According to
CountryAAH, Niger experienced a very violent year, surrounded
by conflicts in neighboring countries and subjected to
repeated attacks by militant Islamists fighting to establish
a Caliphate with Sharia law in the region.
At the New Year, the Nigerian military carried out an
extensive offensive. According to official data, nearly 290
Islamists were killed in aviation and ground fighting in the
Southeast, since extremists from Boko Haram crossed the
border from Nigeria to the south.
The UN and the West saw Niger as an important base for
fighting militant extremism in the region. The United States
had about 800 soldiers in the country and expanded its air
base in Agadez for armed drones to receive large transport
In February and March, Boko Haram crossed the border from
Nigeria and attacked military posts. Several soldiers and
many assailants were killed in the fighting.
In February, a historic court ruling came out that
prohibited men from holding women as servant or sex slaves.
This applies to an ancient custom called "fifth wife" when
rich men had women in addition to the four wives Islam
Hadizatou Mani, who at the age of 12 was sold into
slavery as a "fifth wife" and after nine years managed to
escape and marry on her own, had been sued by the former man
for bigami (allowed for men but not for women). A court
sentenced the woman to several years in prison, but she
appealed and got right that her first marriage was illegal
and that all "fifth wife" marriages were illegal.
Slavery organizations saw the outcome as a historic
victory and a future precedent for several centuries of
tradition. "Fifth wife" is common in some parts of Niger,
and it is estimated that well over 100,000 people in the
country live as slaves.
In March, ten people were killed by two female suicide
bombers and armed men in the city of Nguigmi near Lake Chad
in eastern Niger. According to official records, Boko
Haram's attacks claimed the lives of 88 people in southeast
Niger in March.
A German research report during the year found that the
conflicts in Niger and its neighboring countries cannot be
resolved by military means. Irregular rainfall and warmer
climates have led to food shortages and unrest, which has
also contributed to farmers and fishermen around Lake Chad.
According to the report's authors, the population must be
helped to manage climate change.
At least 28 soldiers were killed in an ambush in western
Niger in May. The Islamic State (IS) terror group said it
was behind the act. IS has a growing branch in West Africa,
ISWAP (Islamic State West Africa Province).
The violence in the country led to over 100,000 people
being forced to leave their homes during the first half of
the year. According to the UN, at least 400,000 refugees
were in the middle of the year.
A May report from Save the Children listed Niger as the
second worst in the world for children's development. Next
best was Sweden. Child mortality is 30 times higher in Niger
than in Sweden. Nearly 60% of Nigerian children have to get
married, over 40% are malnourished and less than half attend
In June, more than 400 West African migrants rescued in
the desert without water were rescued. According to the UN
Migration Agency IOM, nearly 20,000 vulnerable migrants had
been rescued in the Niger desert in three years.
After heavy rains, southern Niger was hit by severe
flooding that killed at least 57 people in September. Many
thousands of people destroyed their houses and farms.
Despite all the torments, Niger enjoyed international
success when the country was elected during the year as one
of five new countries in the UN Security Council.
Over 70 soldiers were killed when hundreds of armed men
attacked a military post in western Niger in December. The
terror group Iswap, which has links to IS, said they were
behind the attack.