The authorities in Niger have announced that the
country’s airspace will reopen for international flights in the coming days.
Like most countries around the world, Niger closed its
airports and land borders in March as part of efforts to contain coronavirus.
In a statement, the government says after assessing the
situation, international passenger flights will now resume on 1 August.
But a number of health and safety measures will be put in
place, including mandatory temperature check at airports.
Both passengers arriving and those leaving Niger must
present a coronavirus negative test result not more than 72 hours old.
who does not arrive with a certificate of negative status will be tested,
made to pay for the testing and if found positive, they will be taken straight
to a treatment centre.
passengers must also self-isolate for two weeks and give their precise address
in the country.
Niger is one of the African countries with fairly low numbers of recorded cases of Covid-19.
Official figures show the country has so far
recorded just 1,122 cases but only 35 people currently have the virus as most
of those who tested positive have recovered. Its number of deaths is 69.
Places of worship and schools have already reopened.
However international travel through the country’s land borders remains banned.
'More intelligence needed' to defeat Boko Haram
Greater co-operation and intelligence-sharing is what is
needed to successfully defeat Boko Haram terrorists in the Lake Chad region, a report by the International Crisis Group (ICG) says.
The Multinational Joint Task Force, drawn from regional
states, holds the key to tackling the jihadist threat, but that so far success
has been limited, the think tank says.
Cameroon, Chad, Niger and
Nigeria, with the help of Benin - make up the Multinational Joint Task Force, which was formed back in 2015 after a growing realisation that defeating Boko
Haram required a collective response.
Five years on it has approximately 10,000
The ICG does acknowledge some
successes, including military campaigns from 2017-2019 which pushed back
insurgents, freed civilians, and enabled the delivery of aid.
But advances against Boko Haram have mostly been short-lived because of
the insurgents' resilience, the report says.
Referring to a reluctance from each state to cede
control to the overall joint task force, the think tank says that structural
limitations and a weak chain of command are of concern.
The report calls for funding issues to
be resolved with the help of the African Union and the European Union - which both
helped create the joint task force.
But with the terror threat showing no signs
of declining, establishing peace in the region will not be an easy operation
for the joint task force.
Boko Haram, and its offshoot the Islamic State in West Africa
Province (Iswap), have killed thousands and displaced
about two million in north-east Nigeria.
Nigeria's government has condemned Thursday's attack on its embassy in Indonesia's capital, Jakarta, by its citizens living in the country.
A number of Nigerian nationals had stormed the embassy and vandalised vehicles in the compound. They accused embassy officials of not offering help when they were allegedly harassed by Indonesian immigration officials.
They also said a Nigerian citizen fell from a storey building while escaping from immigration officials.
Ten aid workers have been kidnapped in south-western Niger as they were distributing food in a village.
The organisation they worked for, Action and Impact Programme in the Sahel (APIS), said armed men appeared in the village on motorbikes and ordered the aid workers to follow them. They also stole two land cruisers.
Jihadist groups have become increasingly active in the region which borders Mali and Burkina Faso.
The militants have stolen several aid agency vehicles for use in attacks.
More than 4,000 people have been killed by Islamist forces in the past year.