Living In Fear Of Terrorists In Niger
Thousands of people have died and tens of thousands have fled their homes in Niger's Tillaberi region, which is being ravaged by terrorist attacks. Now, the attackers are increasingly targeting children.
"They have killed our husbands, the other men have fled, our storehouses have been burned down," said Hajiya Sibti Mouhamadou, who lives in the small village of Sara Koira in Niger's volatile Tillaberi region.
"Today, it's the females who have to take on the role of both the men and the mothers ... and take care of the children and the old people," Mouhamadou says in a DW interview. "How should we manage to do all of this?"
Tillaberi is a vast arid area of 100,000 square kilometers (39,000 square miles) in Niger's southwest where people primarily live from livestock herding and subsistence farming.
The situation in Tillaberi, which forms part of the tri-border region shared by Niger, Mali and Burkina Faso, has sharply deteriorated in the past few years.
"It's not easy to live in such a situation because as soon as you hear the sound of a motorcycle, panic breaks out in the village," Mouhamadou said, referring to the habit of terrorists and armed bandits of using motorbikes to raid villages like hers.