Two political leaders and 10 military officers were detained for several months without trial. Niger accepted high-ranking Libyan officials “on humanitarian grounds” while stating that it would respect its commitments to the International Criminal Court if any official named in arrest warrants entered its territory. Several foreign nationals were taken hostage or remained held by al-Qa’ida in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) and two were killed during a failed rescue operation.
In March, Mahamadou Issoufou was elected President, ending the interim government led by a military junta which had ousted President Mamadou Tandja in 2010.
As a result of the unrest and armed conflict in Libya, more than 200,000 nationals from Niger returned home, creating a difficult humanitarian situation.
Clashes in the north of Niger were reported throughout the year between security forces and armed elements of AQIM. The Niger government stated that AQIM was obtaining arms smuggled from Libya. Niger announced in May that it would strengthen security co-operation with Mali, Mauritania and Algeria. In November, the Niger armed forces destroyed a convoy of heavy weapons on its way from Libya to Mali.Top of page
Two political leaders and 10 military officers were detained for several months. At the end of the year at least three remained held without trial.
Several foreign nationals were taken hostage or were still held by AQIM and two were killed during an attempted rescue operation.
In September, several high-ranking officials of Colonel al-Gaddafi’s Libyan government, including one of his sons, Saadi Gaddafi, who was subject to sanctions imposed by the UN Security Council, entered Niger where they were accepted on “humanitarian grounds” and placed “under surveillance”. At the end of the year, none had been named in arrest warrants by the International Criminal Court.
Despite requests by the Libyan National Transitional Council, Niger refused to return the men to Libya while stressing that they would abide by their international commitments towards international justice in case of an international extradition request.Top of page