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03/24/2022 Niger (International Christian Concern) – Following the most recent jihadist attack on Thursday, March 17, that killed 21 people, the government of Niger has decided to continue attempting peace talks with the militants. The initiative comes amidst fears that more bloodshed is just around the corner.  

The attack last Thursday occurred in the troubled Tillaberi region, near Niger’s border with both Burkina Faso and Mali.  Heavily armed jihadists attacked a bus, killing 19 people, and later a truck, killing two more individuals. Terrorist groups linked to Al-Qaeda and the Islamic State frequently carry out violent attacks in that region.  

According to the China Global Television Network, a source in the office of Niger’s president, Mohamed Bazoum, said the president first reached out to jihadists “three months ago,” offering “an extended hand” to young people who had been recruited by an Islamic-State affiliated group.  

Just last month, President Bazoum announced that he had begun discussions with jihadists in an attempt to bring about peace. He reportedly dispatched envoys to meet with leaders of several jihadist groups. 

For the better part of the last decade, a jihadist revolt that began in Northern Mali has been plaguing Niger and neighboring Burkina Faso. According to the United Nations, thousands of civilians have died, more than 2.5 million have fled their homes, and 10.5 million are facing crisis levels of hunger.  

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