After Terrorism, Rebellion “Blocks” Niger’s Arteries

Rebellion has entered the list of Niger‘s crises, opening a new front in a country already struggling with terrorist attacks and internal challenges.

After their establishment, it seems that the rebels loyal to ousted Nigerien President Mohamed Bazoum have moved to the execution phase by targeting the “arteries” of the local economy.

Nigerien authorities confirmed an act of “sabotage” claimed by a rebel movement that targeted a section of the pipeline transporting crude oil to Benin.

In a report on Friday evening, the public channel “Télé Sahel” stated that “individuals with malicious intentions sabotaged a part of the pipeline in the Tchaker region (Central East)” during the night of June 16-17.

Colonel Issoufou Labou, the governor of the Zinder region who inspected the site of the attack, said: “We have gathered information and evidence about the suspected perpetrators, and all those involved will be arrested and tried according to their terrorist actions.”

Rebellion on the Move

On Monday, the National Liberation Front, a rebel movement fighting for the release of Bazoum, who was ousted in a coup in July and has been detained since, claimed responsibility for the attack that led to a significant portion of the pipeline transporting crude oil to Benin being put out of service.

The front was established in August 2023 after soldiers ousted President Bazoum and detained him.

The front’s leader, Mahmoud Salah, subsequently announced that he took up arms to demand the “release” of the ousted president and threatened to “blow up installations,” particularly “oil installations.”

“Télé Sahel” reported that this “sabotage act” caused “damage to the pipeline” and resulted in a crude oil spill.

The pipeline is also threatened by other acts of violence, as six Nigerien soldiers from a unit responsible for monitoring it were killed in an attack by “armed bandits” on June 12, according to the Nigerien army’s announcement last Sunday.

The pipeline, which is about 2000 kilometers long, is intended to transport crude oil from the oil fields in Agadem (northeast Niger) to the port of Seme-Kpodji in Benin.

Earlier this month, the Nigerien army announced the creation of a “protection force” against “terrorist” attacks on “strategic” sites, including uranium mines in the north and oil wells in Agadem.

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