Nigeriens stage massive rally against Boko Haram
Thousands of people have staged a massive demonstration in Niger’s capital city to protest against recent cross-border attacks by Nigeria-based Boko Haram Takfiri militants.
Prime Minister Brigi Rafini led large crowds of protesters, including peace activists, during the event in Niamey on Tuesday.
The demonstrators expressed solidarity with the armed forces engaged in battle against Boko Haram. Several people also carried banners and placards reading, “All united against Boko Haram.”
The angry protesters also chanted slogans against the militant group and emphasized that Boko Haram has nothing to do with Islam.
Niger’s rally comes days after the ruling coalition in the country, led by President Mahamadou Issoufou, called for a national day of protest against Boko Haram.
Meanwhile, Niger’s security forces have arrested more than 160 people suspected of having links to the Takfiri militant group in Diffa region, an area bordering Nigeria.
The troubled border region was attacked by the militants earlier this month.
Boko Haram terrorists carried out their attack in Niger three days before the parliament on February 9 authorized the army to enter Nigeria to take part in the fight against the group.
Nigerien military officials say some 3,000 troops are posted along the frontier.
Heavy toll of Boko Haram atrocities on Africans
Boko Haram has widened its attacks into neighboring countries, notably Cameroon, Chad and Niger.
The five countries of Chad, Niger, Nigeria, Cameroon, and Benin have pledged to create an 8,700-strong force to fight the Boko Haram militancy.
Boko Haram’s violence has killed at least 13,000 people and rendered more than a million others homeless since 2009.