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Cablegate: Niger: Mnj Attacks in the Agadez Region Continue

VZCZCXRO8229
RR RUEHMA RUEHPA
DE RUEHNM #1055/01 2351624
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 231624Z AUG 07
FM AMEMBASSY NIAMEY
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 3726
INFO RUEHZK/ECOWAS COLLECTIVE
RUEHFR/AMEMBASSY PARIS 0587
RHMFISS/HQ USEUCOM VAIHINGEN GE

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 NIAMEY 001055

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

AF/W FOR T. AYBAR, DS/IP/AF, CA/OCS
PARIS FOR AF WATCHER

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PGOV ASEC MARR CASC PINR NG
SUBJECT: NIGER: MNJ ATTACKS IN THE AGADEZ REGION CONTINUE
TO RISE

1. Summary. The number of attacks conducted by the Mouvement
Nigerien de Justice (MNJ) in the Agadez region continues to
rise, with several incidents over the last couple of days,
some resulting in the death of Government of Niger (GON)
military personnel. Since April 2007, about a dozen land
mine incidents and other violent incidents have occurred in
northern Niger. A timeline of incidents (outlined below)
catalogues the increasing insecurity in northern Niger.
(Note: Embassy issued a warden message in April to recommend
that U.S. citizens refrain from travel in the Agadez region.
End note.) End summary.

2. On August 23, in two separate indicents, two commercial
buses were held up while traveling between Arlit and Agadez.
In the first incident, a Rimbo (company name) bus from Arlit
was held up by five men riding camels. Reports indicated the
men stole local currency equivalent to approximately 22,000
US dollars, then allowed the bus to continue to Agadez. In
the second incident reported, a bus from another company
(SNTV) that originated travel from Agadez was stopped by
members of the Mouvement des Nigeriens pour la Justice (MNJ)
driving three 4X4 Toyota near a town known as Asholan.
Passengers were instructed to remove all their goods from the
bus. The MNJ set the bus on fire, but did not steal any of
the passengers goods. The passengers reportedly were told to
deliver the message that no-one should be traveling to Arlit
from Agadez. There were no reports of American citizens
involved in either incident.

3. On August 21, local media and the MNJ website reported an
attack on military personnel in Gougaram, an area that falls
between Iferouane and Arlit, resulting in the deaths of
soldiers. There has been conflicting information on the
number of soldiers killed, with the GON officially reporting
three soldiers killed, while the MNJ claims as many as 17
soldiers killed. Additionally, a supply truck traveling in
the direction of Iferouane struck a land mine, again
resulting in conflicting reports on casualties. In this
latter incident, the GON reports three wounded soldiers and
no deaths, while other reporting mentions one death. The GON
claims a soldier died in an unrelated vehicle incident.

4. Date/Incident/Results
---------------------
AUG 23 (two incidents) - First bus stopped - Passengers
removed, money stolen (Arlit); second bus stopped, passengers
removed, then bus set on fire (Arlit)

AUG 21 (two incidents) - Armed Attack - Soldiers
killed/numbers reported range from 1 - 17 (Gougaram); Mine -
Supply truck struck land mine, causing possibly one death

AUG 20 - Mine - Military truck struck mine (12 km north of
Agadez), 4 soldiers killed/3 wounded

AUG 14 (two events) - Mine - Civilian vehicle struck mine,
passenger (possibly Chinese) injured (Agadez); Release - Six
wounded soldiers released ( near Agadez)

AUG 9 (two incidents) - Attack - No injuries reported
(Tchighorzerine); Mortar - 2 civilians killed (northwest of
Agadez)

JUL 31 - Mine - Military police (FNIS) truck struck mine
(Tourayat, 80 miles from Agadez),
4 military killed/3 wounded

JUL 23 - Mine - Military truck hit mine, ambulance hit mine
(Gougaram),7 wounded

JUL 20 - Mine - PSI company truck hit mine (Abardokh), 3
soldiers killed/1 wounded

JUL 16 - Mine - Mining company truck hit mine (Gougaram), 7
mining workers wounded

JUL 15 - Release - Chinese mining company manager released
(Agadez)

JUL 8 - Attack - No reported injuries (on road to Ingall)

JUL 6 - Kidnapping - Chinese national taken hostage (Ingall)

JUL 4 - Attack - SONICHAR coal company, no reported injuries

JUN 30 - Attack - 1 Nigerien military officer injured (Agadez)

NIAMEY 00001055 002 OF 002

JUN 22 - Attack - 14 soldiers killed, 43 wounded, 47 held
captive (30 released to Niamey for treatment) (Tazerzait)

APR 22 - Mine - Ammunition and AK-47s taken, 7 soldiers
killed/2 wounded (Iferouane)

APR 19 - Mine - 1 military truck damaged, 7 soldiers killed/2
wounded, GON Military General uninjured (vicinity of Tadek)

APR 15 - Mine - 3 military vehicles damaged, 3 soldiers
killed, 2 wounded (north of Iferouane)

APR 14 - Mine - 1 military truck damaged, no injuries reported

5. Embassy is closely monitoring the volatile situation in
the north that to date, primarily has been targeting the GON
military and entities related to the mineral resources that
the GON hopes to exploit in collaboration with foreign
investors.
ALLEN

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
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