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Niger Update: Sahel Situation (Tillabery and Tahoua regions) April 2021

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Situation Report
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The Sahel regions have been hosting some 60,000 Malian refugees since 2012. They live in 3 sites in the Tillabéri region and a refugee hosting area in the Tahoua region.

The rapidly deteriorating security context has caused increased internal displacement flows with rising numbers every month. To date, some 140,000 IDPs are present in both regions.

The presence of armed groups across the border has caused movements of a few thousand citizens from Burkina Faso into Niger.

Operational Context

Niger, Mali and Burkina Faso are all struggling to cope with numerous militant groups moving between the three countries. The security situation in the tri-border region including in the Nigerien regions of Tillabéri and Tahoua has sharply deteriorated. This threat is forcing people to flee their homes, and further deprives vulnerable communities of critical basic services as armed groups directly target schools, health centers and other infrastructure. The civilian population is victim of extorsion, targeted killings, cattle theft and shop looting and threatened to leave their villages. A state of emergency was first introduced in 2017 and is still in place.

Moreover, the global sanitary crisis and the measures taken by the Government to limit the propagation of the virus has heavily impacted on the operational context, delaying assistance, and limiting livelihood opportunities.

Since the beginning of the year 2020, UNHCR Niger has registered refugees from Burkina Faso. Currently the country host 7,032 Burkinabe refugee in the Tillabéri region. However, their number could be more than that due the lack of humanitarian access because of the rise of insurgency in the areas where they set down.