Republic of Niger: Risk Assessment Report, October 8th 2013
The history of Niger has been characterized by intermittent ethnic conflicts due to the marginalization of its ethnic minorities. Combined with rampant underdevelopment, poverty, and socio-political marginalization, the ethnic dimension has contributed to the outbreak of violent conflict that has surfaced during the post-independence transitional period.
Demographic stress and lagging human development are of a critical nature in Niger and the republic remains a top the Failed States Index, over the last four years. These realities, together with continued criticism of the lack of government implementation of the specifics of the peace process by the Nigerien Movement for Justice (MNJ) increases the current possibility for the re-emergence of ethnic violence.
Refugee flows from Mali, instances of terrorist aggression, and increased kidnapping in recent years/months has destabilized Niger’s immediate neighbourhood, directly threatening its national security. Niger can be labelled as semi-stable, yet inherently fragile politically, economically, and socially. It has made positive steps forward by implementing a new security strategy in cooperation with the U.S. and France to secure its borders, and President Issoufou has committed to develop the northern regions and reduce ethnic marginalisation, in order to foster political stability and legitimacy. Although conflict is a definite possibility due to this strategy and commitments to a variety of reforms, this report sees Niger as remaining stable in the immediate short-term.