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Niger extends State of Emergency in Tillabery region after killing of tourists

Tillabery Region, Niger Republic

By our reporter

August 11, 2020 – The Nigerien authorities have extended the state of emergency in the southwestern Tillabery region following the killings of eight people, including two Nigeriens and six French citizens by unknown gunmen on Sunday.

The Koure Giraffe Reserve park has since been closed after Six aid workers from the ACTED, a Non-governmental Organisation (NGO), their driver and a local guide were shot dead while driving into the national park near the town of Koure.

Koure serves as home to rare West African giraffes and attracts large numbers of tourists annually.

Niger’s presidency on Tuesday said the National Security Council (CNS), Chaired Aug. 10 by the President of the Republic, Issoufou Mahamadou, has decided to extend the state of emergency to the entire Region of Tillabery.

According to the Presidency of the Niger Republic, the State of emergency will include the departments of Kollo and that of Balleyara.

The Humanitarian Post reports that Tillabery region has been subject to repeated state of emergency extensions due to particularly major attacks by jihadist armed groups in January, May and August.

Apart from the Kollo and Balleyara departments, the state of emergency has been in effect in the region’s parts near the northern border with Mali and western border with Burkina Faso.

However, the government’s power to impose security measures to prevent violent terrorist attacks does not apply to the Nigerien capital of Niamey, which is an autonomous district enclaved within the region of Tillabery.

The French government has also responded to the Niger killings, with its counterterrorism prosecutor office launching a probe into the matter.

Moreover, French President Emmanuel Macron has pledged to intensify the security measures in the whole region of Africa’s Sahel to protect French citizens and curb the increased terrorist threat.

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