New York (UNA-OIC) – The United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres reaffirmed the UN’s support and solidarity with Niger, as the second deadly attacks against civilians in less than a week rocked the west African nation.
On Sunday, unidentified gunmen attacked the villages of Intazayene, Bakorate and Wistane in Niger’s Tahoua region, killing at least 137 people, including 22 children. The attacks took place as people were fetching water, according to the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF).
On March 15, gunmen killed at least 58 civilians, including six children, as they were returning from a weekly market in the Banibangou department, Tillaberi region, about 400 kilometers south-west of Tahoua.
In a statement issued by his spokesperson, Guterres strongly condemned Sunday’s attack and called on the Nigerien authorities to “spare no effort” in identifying and swiftly bringing the perpetrators to justice. He also urged greater efforts to protect civilians.
The UN chief also called on countries in the Sahel region to continue their efforts, in close collaboration with regional organizations and international partners, “to address these serious threats to security and stability in the sub-region and beyond”.