Security: Niger is in tough neighbourhood. So how does it remain resilient?

By Seidik Abba
Posted on Wednesday, 16 November 2022 13:15

Virtual Sahel security summit
Niger's President Mohamed Bazoum reacts during a joint press conference with French President Emmanuel Macron following a video summit with leaders of G5 Sahel countries, at the Elysee presidential Palace, in Paris, France July 9, 2021. Stephane De Sakutin/ Pool via REUTERS - RC22HO9QP2UN

Despite facing jihadist threats on all of its borders, Niger has so far managed to prevent militant groups from settling in its territory.

Of all the Sahelian states, Niger is the only one that must deal with pervasive insecurity on three sides: in the southeast along the border with Nigeria (Boko Haram); in the west (jihadist groups); and in the north (Islamic State and the collapse of the Libyan state).

Yet, apart from the Nigerien islands in Lake Chad, none of the country’s territory has been permanently occupied by the terrorist groups that plague the Sahel – a situation in sharp contrast to the one faced by its western neighbours Mali and Burkina Faso. Why?