By CMA, AmazighWorld.org Date : 2021-04-21 13:13:00
On 21 March 2021, in the commune of Tillia, in the Azawagh region of western Niger, near the border with Mali, around 100 armed men on motorbikes attacked the Tuareg villages of Intazayene, Bakorat and Wistane, killing 137 people according to the Nigerien authorities. According to survivors' testimonies, the death toll was much higher.
The villagers' herds were also destroyed or stolen by the attackers. According to the government, these criminals, who have been active in the region for a long time, are Islamist terrorists who have pledged their allegiance to Daesh.
The massacre took place in broad daylight and lasted for most of the day without any government military force intervening. African forces and French troops from Operation Barkhane were also conspicuous by their absence. One wonders how a group of around 100 motorbikes riding through the desert for several hours can go unnoticed in an age of satellites and drones that can detect the slightest movement on the ground and even read number plates and distinguish faces.
This new tragedy, which has struck civilians once again, proves that neither the Nigerien army nor foreign armed forces are willing or able to carry out their mission to protect the population. Then, what use are they ?
In August 2020, 102 bodies of mostly Tuareg men were found buried in mass graves in Inatès. The National Human Rights Commission of Niger blamed soldiers of the Nigerien army.
In addition, insecurity is causing people to flee their villages and take refuge in disastrous conditions on the outskirts of towns or in refugee camps. The UN estimates the number of displaced people in Niger at half a million.
The Amazigh World Congress urges the international community:
- to ensure the effective protection of the civilian population,
- to provide emergency humanitarian aid to the refugees and families who are victims of the criminal hordes. The majority of those murdered are men, and consequently, the majority of the survivors are widows and orphans who are young and destitute.
In order to help the Tuareg community in Niger to overcome this new ordeal, the CMA launches an urgent appeal to Amazighs in all countries to actively show their solidarity with their Kel-Tamasheq (Tuareg) brothers and sisters by making a donation to the accounts of the CMA or the ODTE (Organisation of the Tuareg Diaspora in Europe):
- CMA account : Banque Populaire Rives de Paris - IBAN (International Bank Account Number): FR76 1020 7003 1021 2178 0472 033 - BIC (Bank Identification Code) : CCBPFRPPMTG
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