The recent wave of banditry in the border communities in Nigeria, Madarounfa and Guidan-Roumdji, in the Maradi region, “has resulted in the formation of numerous vigilante groups and armed militias.” This is what emerges from a report published on Thursday April 29 by the international non-profit NGO Crisis Group.

This brigandage, fueled by armed groups operating from Nigeria, is gradually spreading to southwestern Niger, along the border strip from the towns of Maradi to Dogondoutchi (Dosso region).

For example, on January 10, in the village of Lili, located in the department of Madarounfa, three women were kidnapped and livestock taken away. A few days later, on the night of January 16, 160 head of cattle were stolen and one person was killed in the village of Bassira, located in the department of Guidan-Roumdji. This is how self-defense groups originated in the villages of Gabi (Madarounfa department), Tibiri and Sanfo (Guidan-Roumdji).

These groups are currently popular with local authorities and the armed forces. “They are supported by local elected officials who even help buy local artisanal weapons,” said the Crisis Group report.

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