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Niger sacks military chiefs after deadly jihadist attack

Niger replaced two top military brass on Monday, four days after a jihadist assault on an army base left 89 dead in the biggest single loss in the country’s history.

The new armed forces chief of staff is General Salifou Modi, who replaces General Ahmed Mohamed, the government said in a statement read on national radio.

The new head of the army is Brigadier General Seidou Bague, replacing Sidikou Issa.

The decision was made by a cabinet meeting shortly before Nigerien President Mahamadou Issoufou left for Pau, southwestern France, for a summit on the crisis in the Sahel.

It brings together a summit of the so-called G5 countries — Burkina Faso, Chad, Niger, Mali and Mauritania — with France, the former colonial power in the region, who is leading the fight against the insurgents.

According to UN figures, jihadist attacks in Burkina, Mali and Niger last year left 4,000 dead.

Niger declared three days of national mourning after the attack on Chinegodar camp in western Niger last Thursday.

It was carried out by attackers arriving in vehicles and on motorbikes.

The raid occurred in the same region, Tillaberi, where 71 soldiers were killed in December — a loss that deeply shocked the country.

Mohamed and Issa had been appointed to their jobs only in 2018. Modi, 57, was a member of the Supreme Council for the Restoration for Democracy (CSRD), the official name of the military junta which staged a coup in 2010, returning the country to civilian rule after elections in 2011.

Dele Fashomi
Dele Fashomi, seasoned journalist and communication teacher, is a holder of Master of Arts degree in Communication and Language Arts from the University of Ibadan in 1992/93. Earlier, he had bagged a Bachelor degree from the same university in 1984, after which he proceeded to the Nigerian Institute of Journalism, Lagos, in 1990, for a postgraduate diploma in Journalism. He had done many courses in communication, including the EU-BBC Editing Course in 2002. Mr. Fashomi combines effectively the practice, research and teaching of communication. And to date, he has published two academic works in communication: Issues in Communication Technology and Policy (2010) and Economic and Social Issues in Advertising and PR (2013). He had his first break in the Nigerian media in Concord Newspapers in 1990 and today, he has over two and half decades experience earned in several newspapers. He has been part of many start-ups, such as The Republic (1987), The Comet (1999), The Anchor 2001 - 2002; Sun Newspapers (2003); Westerner newsmagazine (2005 - 2010) as Editor; National Life (2011) as Sunday Editor, and Newswatch Newspapers (2012- 2016) as Daily Editor. Dele Fashomi is now the Publisher/Editor-in-Chief of newspaper online, which he started in July 2015. He is also into biography writing, with many books in his trail, some of which he wrote alone and one he co- authored with his mentor, Mr Dare Babarinsa, entitled:  Olabiyi Durojaiye - DARE TO BE DiFFERENT. He also guided and collaborated with Pa Olatunji Odusanya in writing his autobiography - AGAINST ALL ODDS. There are many other books in the works under his pen.