The investigations carried out by Niger and France have not made it possible to determine the circumstances of the death of three demonstrators during clashes, at the end of November 2021, at the passage of a convoy of Operation “Barkhane” near Burkina Faso and of Mali, announced the Nigerien government, Tuesday, May 17, in a press release.
This military convoy left Abidjan, in Ivory Coast, to join Gao, in Mali, had first been blocked and stoned by demonstrators in Kaya, in the center of Burkina Faso. The convoy had resumed its journey before being again interrupted by angry demonstrators in Téra, in western Niger. Three of them had been killed by gunfire attributed to Nigerien or French forces.
On December 17, 2021, the Nigerien President, Mohamed Bazoum, had “required by the French authorities” an investigation into the clashes and “ordered an investigation” from Nigeria. “As the exploitation of the results of the investigation by the gendarmerie of Niger and the French army did not make it possible to determine the exact course of the events which caused the death and injuries of the demonstrators, Niger and France decided to ensure together the compensation of the families of the victims as well as the injured “, underlines the press release of the Nigerien Ministry of the Interior. The amount of this compensation, “in equal parts” between the two countries for each of the victims, has not been revealed.
“Serious failures of the law enforcement system”
In a newspaper interview The cross and The Obs published on Wednesday, President Bazoum declares that he is not satisfied with the French investigation, which “consisted in saying that the French army had issued warnings with lethal weapons. She concluded that her soldiers had not killed.. Gold, “it was probably the lethal means used by the French army, for the purpose of warning, which had the effect of reaching a certain number of demonstrators and killing three of them, children”he said.
” But “he adds, “if France has a share of responsibility, so does Niger. We had committed forces to maintain order and they were not effective. The French had to extricate themselves, they had to use lethal means that could cause death..
The investigation conducted by the Nigerien gendarmerie “has highlighted serious shortcomings in the law enforcement system planned to manage this situation” by Niger, which “led the French army to use force to extricate itself from the pressure of the demonstrators”underlines the press release of his government. “The investigation carried out by the French army, for its part, while acknowledging the use of force by the convoy to extricate itself from the crowd which threatened it, concludes that the facts took place under regulatory conditions by means of warning shots »he adds.
In addition to the three demonstrators killed, seventeen civilians, seven Nigerien gendarmes and seven French soldiers were injured, the text specifies. Following these incidents, the Nigerien president replaced his interior minister, Alkache Alhada, as well as the senior commander of the national gendarmerie, General Salifou Wakasso.
Paris and Niamey “welcome their collaboration in this particularly sensitive file” and “welcomed with the solution obtained”greeting “the memory of the deceased”the statement also said.
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