Located in the hot and dry southeastern corner of the world’s least developed nation, Niger’s Diffa Region is struggling to deal with Boko Haram violence and the thousands of refugees spilling across its southern border from Nigeria. Already afflicted by a harsh climate and staggering poverty, the region is ill-equipped to deal with this new and escalating threat, especially the most vulnerable and remote villages located along the border with Nigeria. Boko Haram’s recent pledge of allegiance to ISIS makes the situation even more dire and concerning for the United States.
The Nigerien government and military have made great efforts to prevent attacks and violence while simultaneously attempting to address the tremendous needs of the population and the influx of refugees. Assisted by US Teams, the Nigerien military has improved its capacity to fight Boko Haram and increased its engagements with local communities to better understand and address local issues. Despite these efforts, Boko Haram continues recruiting efforts in the area’s villages and periodic attacks from across the border.
During community engagements, the US Team working in the area was repeatedly asked to facilitate an event to discuss strategies for countering Boko Haram. Spirit of America was able to support this effort by covering costs for the event itself.
The resulting summit brought together village chiefs, religious leaders, the Nigerien military, and government officials to share local perspectives and develop a way ahead for the region. A huge success, the event paved the way for a more effective and unified approach to defeating this barbaric terrorist organization.
You can contribute directly to this effort, thereby helping increase peace and stability in one of the world’s most challenging environments.