Chad has withdrawn hundreds of troops from neighbouring Niger Republic, where they were helping local forces fight Boko Haram militants, humanitarian sources and officials said yesterday. The move came a month after the country complained about an unexpected U.S. travel ban imposed on its nationals.
Chad warned at the time the order could affect its security commitments, which include its involvement in the U.S.-backed fight against Boko Haram. Residents said the withdrawal had already had an impact on Niger’s Diffa region, which has seen a string of attacks by Boko Haram militants crossing over from Nigeria.
Ibrahim Arimi from the border village of Bosso said banditry had increased since the Chadian troops started leaving and he had been temporarily moved to another village for safety.
Diffa parliamentarian Lamido Moumouni said residents had started complaining. “They had come to rely on the forces so there is a perception that security will be lacking,” he said.
At its peak in 2016 after an attack in Bosso, Chad had 2,000 troops in Niger to help counter Boko Haram although security sources said this had fallen since. Chad’s soldiers also occupy front-line positions in a peacekeeping force in northern Mali. (Reuters/NAN)