At least 20 villagers have been killed in Niger in series of attacks by motorcycle bandits. Interior Minister, Bazoum Mohamed, who visited the scene of the tragedy in Tillaberi condemned the killings.
He also announced a robust security measure to be implemented amid escalating violence in the region. “Because so far we have reacted to episodes of violence like this with strategies that were not sustainable.
“But with the increase in violence and the level of violence we’ve seen, we are advancing plans to implement very strict measures to deter the perpetrators of this heinous crimes,” the Minister said.
In January, the authorities restricted the circulation of motorcycles in a bid to clampdown on terrorists operating in the region.
The state of emergency, which was first established in 2017, was then extended, with the mobilization of nearly 5000 foreign soldiers as part of the ongoing France-led Operation Barkhane.
Safi Ali, a resident in the affected area recounts the horrors they went through: “They (the bandits) came by motorcycle, but we don’t know how many there were.
“They divided into small groups and surrounded our village, one group went directly to the well where they killed three people in cold blood, and another group went to the south side where they killed a nurse and two other people.”