Developing

13
Jun
10:03 UTC

Niger Alert: Security guards thwart attempted attack on residence of National Assembly President Seini Oumarou in Niamey during overnight hours of June 11-12

Please be advised

  • Reports indicate that two unknown armed assailants attempted to attack the residence of National Assembly President Seini Oumarou in Niamey’s 2nd arrondissement during the overnight hours (local time) of June 11-12. 
  • The attackers reportedly approached Oumarou’s residence on a motorcycle and fired automatic rifles in an attempt to neutralize security guards stationed outside the home. The guards managed to repel the attack, but one guard was killed and another injured by the gunfire. 
  • Further reports citing statements by the Ministry of Interior indicate that the attackers also failed in their attempt to seize a 4×4 vehicle parked outside Oumarou’s residence. 
  • The Ministry has reportedly launched investigations into the incident, but as of writing the two assailants remain at large. 

Assessments & Forecast

  1. This is the second attack on Oumarou’s residence in recent months as opposition protesters targeted his home in March over his support for the newly-elected President Mohamed Bazoum and sudden departure from the opposition camp after he came in third in the first round of presidential elections. Within this context, while the motives behind this latest incident remain unknown, it is possible that the assailants were disgruntled opposition elements or former members of Oumarou’s National Movement for the Development of Society (MNDS) party who were seeking revenge over the electoral outcome or attempting to remove Oumarou from the political scene. That said, it remains possible that the attack was criminal in nature with the assailants potentially driven by financial or personal gain. Regardless, this highlights the security forces’ shortcomings in preventing potential security threats inside the capital and around high-profile targets, amid the overall challenging security situation.
  2. FORECAST: Given that Oumarou is now a close ally of Bazoum and holds a senior position, the targeting of his residence will likely be perceived as a direct threat to the new government under the leadership of Bazoum. That said, the authorities will likely enhance surveillance measures within Niamey and arrest several suspects in the coming days to emphasize the state’s low tolerance for attacks against government officials. Given the extent of backlash to Oumarou’s appointment as National Assembly President and his allegiance to Bazoum in recent months, it is possible that prominent opposition leaders or activists will be arrested as part of investigations into this latest incident, which in turn is liable to fuel further political tensions and anger toward Bazoum’s administration. This scenario could motivate renewed opposition mobilization efforts in Niamey in the coming days and weeks despite the risk of security crackdowns. 

Recommendations

  1. Travel to Niamey can continue while adhering to stringent security precautions regarding crime and avoiding political gatherings or related protests. 
  2. We advise against all travel to Tillaberi and Tahoua regions in the west along the borders of Mali and Burkina Faso, as well as Diffa Region in the southeast due to the ongoing risk of militancy.
  3. Avoid nonessential travel to Agadez Region due to the presence of criminals and low presence of security forces in rural outlying areas.
COUNTRY RISK LEVEL High
AFFECTED AREA Niamey, Niger
INCIDENT RISK LEVEL High
STRENGTH OF SOURCE Confirmed

Please be advised

  • Reports indicate that two unknown armed assailants attempted to attack the residence of National Assembly President Seini Oumarou in Niamey’s 2nd arrondissement during the overnight hours (local time) of June 11-12. 
  • The attackers reportedly approached Oumarou’s residence on a motorcycle and fired automatic rifles in an attempt to neutralize security guards stationed outside the home. The guards managed to repel the attack, but one guard was killed and another injured by the gunfire. 
  • Further reports citing statements by the Ministry of Interior indicate that the attackers also failed in their attempt to seize a 4×4 vehicle parked outside Oumarou’s residence. 
  • The Ministry has reportedly launched investigations into the incident, but as of writing the two assailants remain at large. 

Assessments & Forecast

  1. This is the second attack on Oumarou’s residence in recent months as opposition protesters targeted his home in March over his support for the newly-elected President Mohamed Bazoum and sudden departure from the opposition camp after he came in third in the first round of presidential elections. Within this context, while the motives behind this latest incident remain unknown, it is possible that the assailants were disgruntled opposition elements or former members of Oumarou’s National Movement for the Development of Society (MNDS) party who were seeking revenge over the electoral outcome or attempting to remove Oumarou from the political scene. That said, it remains possible that the attack was criminal in nature with the assailants potentially driven by financial or personal gain. Regardless, this highlights the security forces’ shortcomings in preventing potential security threats inside the capital and around high-profile targets, amid the overall challenging security situation.
  2. FORECAST: Given that Oumarou is now a close ally of Bazoum and holds a senior position, the targeting of his residence will likely be perceived as a direct threat to the new government under the leadership of Bazoum. That said, the authorities will likely enhance surveillance measures within Niamey and arrest several suspects in the coming days to emphasize the state’s low tolerance for attacks against government officials. Given the extent of backlash to Oumarou’s appointment as National Assembly President and his allegiance to Bazoum in recent months, it is possible that prominent opposition leaders or activists will be arrested as part of investigations into this latest incident, which in turn is liable to fuel further political tensions and anger toward Bazoum’s administration. This scenario could motivate renewed opposition mobilization efforts in Niamey in the coming days and weeks despite the risk of security crackdowns. 

Recommendations

  1. Travel to Niamey can continue while adhering to stringent security precautions regarding crime and avoiding political gatherings or related protests. 
  2. We advise against all travel to Tillaberi and Tahoua regions in the west along the borders of Mali and Burkina Faso, as well as Diffa Region in the southeast due to the ongoing risk of militancy.
  3. Avoid nonessential travel to Agadez Region due to the presence of criminals and low presence of security forces in rural outlying areas.
COUNTRY RISK LEVEL High
AFFECTED AREA Niamey, Niger
INCIDENT RISK LEVEL High
STRENGTH OF SOURCE Confirmed

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What’s better, facing disaster or avoiding it altogether? MAX Security Solutions is a leading player in comprehensive security and risk management solutions.