Statement by UNICEF Regional Director Marie-Pierre Poirier on the attack in western Niger

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“UNICEF condemns in the strongest terms the horrific killings of civilians by unidentified armed groups in the villages of Darey-dey and Sinégogar, in the Tillabery region of western Niger, killing at least 58 people – including six children aged 11 to 17. We are deeply saddened and scandalized that civilians, including children, are among the victims. “

“In early January, in the same region, armed groups carried out coordinated attacks in the villages of Tchamo-Bangou and Zaroumdareye, killing at least 100 people – including 17 children under the age of 16.”

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“The rise of armed violence in the central Sahel region has a devastating impact on the survival, education, protection and development of children. Growing insecurity along the borders with Burkina Faso and Mali has exacerbated the needs in the Tillabery region where more than 95,000 people are displaced. “

“In recent months, the access of humanitarian actors to populations affected by the conflict has been hampered. Reaching people in need is increasingly difficult. Violence disrupts livelihoods and access to social services, including education and health care. Insecurity exacerbates chronic vulnerabilities. Women and children are the most affected by violence. “

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“Niger continues to face a combination of rapid onset and protracted humanitarian crises that have been exacerbated by the impacts of the 2019 coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19). Some 3.8 million people, including 2 million children, are in need of humanitarian assistance across the country. ”

UNICEF continues to work with the Government and its partners in affected communities to provide children and families with essential protection, health care and education services, but additional support and commitment from the international community is needed. urgently needed to end the violence and help us reach those most in need. “

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Statement by UNICEF Regional Director Marie-Pierre Poirier on the attack in western Niger - NNN.