CFA franc will be eco 2020
According to Abbreviationfinder, Eight West African countries using the regional CFA franc agree in Abidjan in Ivory Coast that the currency should be renamed eco. It will continue to be linked to the euro, but the eight countries (Benin, Burkina Faso, Guinea-Bissau, Ivory Coast, Mali, Niger, Senegal and Togo) will no longer have to keep 50 percent of their foreign exchange reserves in France, and France should no longer have any representative on the board of the currency union. The change will take effect in 2020. Critics of the CFA fringe see it as a remnant from the colonial era, while its proponents see it as a guarantee of financial stability.
- Countryaah: Overview of the capital city of Niger, including information about its population, economy, geography, history and map.
About 70 dead in attack on army
More than 70 government soldiers are killed and a dozen injured when a military camp in Inates near the Mali border is attacked by hundreds of heavily armed jihadists, the Defense Department reports. Nigerian forces fight Boko Haram in the southeast near the border with Nigeria and IS-loyal Islamists in the west at Mali and Libya. On the same day, the United States donates $ 21 million worth of military equipment to Niger to assist in the fight against the Islamists.
Opposition leaders are imprisoned upon returning home
Hama Amadou, party leader of the opposition NDM, is arrested at the airport as he returns from his self-elected exile in France. He is then put in jail. Amadou was arrested in connection with the 2016 election and was convicted of smuggling infants, a judgment that, according to Amadou, is politically motivated to prevent him from challenging President Issoufou at the presidential post. In 2016, Amadou was allowed to leave the prison for care in France and then went into self-imposed exile. He returns to Niger to serve the rest of his sentence there and then make a political comeback.
Cooperation with neighboring countries against smuggling
Niger, Nigeria and Benin join forces in the fight against widespread smuggling across countries. The problem caused Nigeria to close its border on trade with the two neighboring states earlier this year. The three countries will set up a special monitoring and patrol committee.
New regional fund against terrorism
West African leaders agree to jointly invest $ 1 billion over the period 2020-2024 to combat violence from militant Islamist groups in the region. The decision is made at a meeting in Burkina Faso’s capital Ouagadougou. Attending the meeting are political leaders from the 15 countries that are part of the West African cooperation organization Ecowas as well as the Mauritanian and Chad presidents. The money should be invested in a common fund. How they are to be distributed will be presented at a forthcoming summit in December. Ecowa’s leader Jean-Claude Kassi Brou says that jihadists has carried out 2,200 attacks since 2015, which claimed a total of about 11,500 casualties and driven hundreds of thousands of people to flight. He calls on the UN to strengthen its peacekeeping force, Minusma, which has been stationed in Mali since 2013. There is also a special force, the G5 Sahel, which Burkina Faso, Mali, Chad, Niger and Mauritania, launched together with France in 2017. But it suffers from a great lack of resources, and the force so far only consists of 4,000 soldiers instead of 5,000 as planned.
Nigeria closes the border
Nigeria closes its border with Niger and Benin in an attempt to stop the extensive smuggling. For example, rice is smuggled into Nigeria, where the government has banned imports to support its own rice farmers. Smugglers also buy subsidized Nigerian oil and sell it in neighboring countries.
Niger in the UN Security Council
The UN General Assembly elects Niger together with Estonia, Tunisia, Vietnam and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines in the UN Security Council. The five countries will sit in the Council for two years starting January 1, 2020.
About 30 soldiers are killed in ambush
Twenty-eight government soldiers are killed when a military column is attacked by unknown perpetrators near the Mali border in western Niger. Eleven of the bodies will be found later. A number of soldiers are injured in the attack. In October 2017, four US and five Nigerian soldiers were killed in a similar attack in the same area. At that time militant Islamists were behind the act.
New communication center
The US is contributing a communication center (C2 Node) worth $ 16.5 million to Niger to better coordinate its military operations against Boko Haram, Aqim and other extremist groups. Niger has been given an increasingly important strategic role in the US fight against militant Islamist groups in Africa. In the past, the United States has donated reconnaissance aircraft, armored vehicles, small patrol boats that can be used in lakes and waterways and more. The United States has a military base for drones in Agadez and is licensed to land weaponized drones on Nigerian soil.