An ISIL-linked attack near Mali border left at least 29 soldiers dead.
Qatar has voiced its condemnation of the violent assault on security personnel in western Niger that killed several soldiers.
“The State of Qatar strongly condemns the attack that targeted a group of security forces in western Niger, resulting in the death of a number of soldiers and the injury of others,” a statement from Qatar’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said on Sunday.
In its statement, Qatar also reaffirmed its steadfast stance against acts of violence and terrorism, regardless of underlying motives.
According to Niger’s defence ministry, the assault took place close to the Mali border during a military operation with the objective of “neutralising the threat posed” by Islamic State militant group factions in the vicinity.
“Communications from the terrorists, who were compelled to retreat, have been intercepted,” the ministry revealed. It also suggested the attackers “benefitted from external expertise”, though specifics were not disclosed.
Known as the “three borders” the tumultuous area between Niger, Mali, and Burkina Faso, has frequently witnessed assaults by factions associated with ISIL and Al-Qaeda.
The Sahel region of Africa has been under the shadow of such armed attacks for over a decade, originating in northern Mali in 2012 and subsequently spilling over into neighbouring Niger and Burkina Faso by 2015.
This surge in violence has catalysed military coups across all three nations. Niger recently experienced a coup on July 26, which resulted in the ousting of its democratically elected president, Mohamed Bazoum.
In light of these events, the military coup leaders in Niger have hinted at a potential acceptance of a mediation offer from neighbouring Algeria, aiming for a peaceful transition back to civilian governance.