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23. Niger/Tauregs (1960-present)

Crisis Phase (August 3, 1960-May 5, 1990):  Tuareg tribesmen began a secessionist movement against the government of Niger following independence from France on August 3, 1960.  The Popular Front for the Liberation of Niger (Front Populaire pour la Liberation du Niger – FPLN) was established by Nigerien exiles, mostly ethnic Tuaregs, in Libya in 1985.  The Libyan government provided military assistance (weapons and training) to the FPLN.  Government troops and FPLN militants clashed near the town of Tchin-Tabaradene on May 29-30, 1985, resulting in the deaths of one militant and two government soldiers.

The Rebellion of the Tuareg Desert Warriors in 2012 – iakovos alhadeff

Conflict Phase (May 6, 1990-November 28, 1997):  In an attempt to free Tuareg prisoners, Tuareg militants attacked a government police station in Tchin-Tabaradene on May 6-7, 1990, resulting in the deaths of 25 militants and six government policemen.  In response, some 650 or more Tuaregs were killed by government troops over the next few weeks in the towns of Tchin-Tabaradene, Gharo, and In-Gall.  The Liberation Front of Air and Awad (Front de Libération de l’Aïr et de l’Azawagh – FLAA) led by Rhissa ag Boula was established on October 19, 1991.  Representatives of the government and Tuaregs signed a ceasefire agreement on April 11, 1992.  Government troops captured some 200 Tuareg militants in August 1992. Tuareg militants killed some 30 civilians in three villages in the Tchin-Tabaradene district on February 7, 1993.  Tuareg militants killed ten civilians in Azenak on February 8, 1993.  Representatives of the government and FLAA signed a three-month ceasefire agreement on March 19, 1993.  The government lifted a state-of-emergency in northern Niger on June 10, 1993. Several Tuareg groups, including the FLAA and the FPLS, formed the Coordination of the Armed Resistance (Coordination de la Résistance Armée – CRA) in 1994.  Tuareg militants attacked a village in Manzou district on January 9, 1994, resulting in the deaths of seven individuals.  Tuareg militants attacked Tahoua on January 19, 1994, resulting in the deaths of four militants, two government police, and a civilian. The Patriotic Front for the Liberation of the Sahara (FPLS) headed by Mohamed Anako was established on January 28, 1994.  Tuareg militants killed two individuals in a military escorted convoy near Agadez on January 28, 1994.  The government and CRA agreed to resume negotiations on February 4, 1994. The French government appointed Jean-Francois Nodinot as a mediator in the dispute on February 5, 1994.  Government troops clashed with Tuareg militants on May 20, 1994, resulting in the deaths of 20 individuals.  Government troops clashed with Tuareg militants on August 12, 1994, resulting in the deaths of 11 militants and three government soldiers.  Tuareg militants attacked and killed six individuals in Agadez on September 26, 1994.  The governments of France, Algeria, and Burkina Faso mediated negotiations between representatives of the Nigerien government and Tuaregs in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso from September 25 to October 9, 1994.  Representatives of the Nigerien government and Tuaregs signed a ceasefire agreement in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso on October 9, 1994.  On April 24, 1995, representatives of the Niger government and Tuaregs formally signed a peace agreement mediated by France, Algeria, and Burkina Faso in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, which provided for the amnesty for and disarmament of some 3,000 Tuareg rebels.  The National Assembly approved amnesty for Tuareg militants on June 1, 1995.  Some 13 Tuaregs were killed in ethnic violence on July 2, 1995.  Several Tuareg militants rejected the 1995 peace agreement and established a new Coordination of the Armed Resistance (CRA) on July 21, 1995. The CRA resumed the rebellion on September 12, 1995. The Union of Armed Resistance Force (l’Union Armée des Forces de Resistance – UARF) was established by Tuareg militants on November 13, 1996.  Government troops clashed with Tuareg militants near Agadez on December 29, 1996, resulting in the deaths of three individuals.  Government troops clashed with Tuareg militants near Agadez beginning on September 16, 1997.  Tuareg militants killed some 33 individuals in northern Niger between September 16 and October 19, 1997. Tuareg rebels clashed with government troops in northern Niger on November 8, 1997, resulting in the deaths of some 27 rebels and one government soldier. Algeria mediated negotiations between representatives of the government and Tuareg rebels beginning on November 15, 1997.  The Algerian government mediated the signing of a peace agreement by representatives of the government and UARF on November 28, 1997.  Some 1,000 individuals, including at least 150 government soldiers, were killed during the conflict.

Post-Conflict Phase (November 29, 1997-February 7, 2007):  The UNHCR completed the repatriation of Tuareg refugees from Algeria and Mali in December 1998. The government completed disarmament of the Tuareg rebels on June 5, 2000.

Conflict Phase (February 8, 2007-May 15, 2009):  Tuareg militants, members of the Movement of Nigeriens for Justice (Mouvement des Nigériens pour la Justice – MNJ) led by Aghaly ag Alambo and Mohamed Acharif, attacked a military base in the town of Iférouane near Agadez on February 8-9, 2007, resulting in the deaths of three government soldiers.  MNJ militants killed three government soldiers in a mine attack north of Iférouane on April 15, 2007.  MNJ militants killed seven government soldiers in a mine attack near Tadek on April 19, 2007.  MNJ militants killed seven government soldiers in a mine attack in Iferouane on April 22, 2007.  MNJ militants attacked and captured the town of Tazerzait on June 22, 2007, resulting in the deaths of 15 government soldiers.  MNJ militants killed three government soldiers in Abardokh on July 20, 2007.  MNJ militants killed four government soldiers in a mine attack in Tourayat on July 31, 2007.  MNJ militants killed four government soldiers in a mine attack near Agadez on August 20, 2007.  MNJ militants attacked government troops in Gougaram on August 21, 2007, resulting in the deaths of at least three government soldiers.  The Nigerien government declared a state of alert in the Agadez region on August 24, 2007.  MNJ militants attacked a military convoy near the town of Iférouane on December 4, 2007, resulting in the deaths of three government soldiers.  According to the Nigerien military, eight militants were killed in clashes following the attack on the military convoy.  Government troops clashed with MNJ militants in the Tiguidit region on December 9, 2007, resulting in the deaths of seven civilians and one militant.  MNJ militants attacked the town of Tanhout on January 21, 2008, resulting in the deaths of seven government soldiers.  Government troops clashed with Tuareg militants in northern Niger on March 9-29, 2008, resulting in the deaths of ten militants and five government soldiers.  Government troops recaptured the town of Tazerzait from MNJ militants on June 27, 2008, resulting in the deaths of 17 militants.  Some 200 Tuareg militants and 70 government soldiers were killed in the fighting between February 2007 and June 2008.  The Nigerien government renewed the state of alert in the Agadez region on August 20, 2008.  Libya mediated negotiations between representatives of the Nigerien government and the MNJ in Tripoli, Libya on April 4-6, 2009.  The MNJ agreed to a cessation of military hostilities on May 15, 2009.

Post-Conflict Phase (May 16, 2009-present):   The MNJ deposed one of its leaders, Aghaly ag Alambo, on August 31, 2009.  The government granted amnesty to Tuareg militants who had participated in disarmament on October 23, 2009.  The government lifted the state of alert in the Agadez region on November 26, 2009.  Aghaly ag Alambo, former leader of the MNJ, was arrested by Nigerien government police on March 21, 2012.

[Sources: Agence France Presse (AFP), August 5, 2007, March 31, 2008, September 2, 2009; Associated Press (AP), April 1, 2008; Banks and Muller, 1998, 675-682; Bercovitch and Jackson, 1997, 248-249; British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC), November 29, 1997, November 30, 1997, March 23, 1998, August 13, 1998, September 25, 2000, June 22, 2007, June 29, 2007, August 10, 2007, August 21, 2007, August 22, 2007, September 7, 2007, December 11, 2007, June 27, 2008, August 19, 2008, April 7, 2009, May 15, 2009, March 21, 2012; Foreign Broadcast Information Service (FBIS), January 8, 1992, February 1, 1994, February 2, 1994, February 7, 1994, February 15, 1994; Jessup, 1998, 451-453; Keesing’s Record of World Events, February 1987, June 1993, September 1993, April 1995; Reuters, November 8, 1997, June 6, 2000, June 17, 2007, July 6, 2007, July 15, 2007, July 16, 2007, June 27, 2008; United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) press release, June 18, 1996, May 30, 1997.]