The Interior Minister, for Niger Republic, has announced the arrest of a suspect in connection with the death of six aid workers and two Nigeriens.
The aid workers, two men and four women from a French NGO called ACTED and their Nigerien guide and driver were attacked in a giraffe reserve located at Koure about 65km from Niger Republic’s capital, Niamey on August 9.
Hundreds of people visit Koure National Park annually, which is home to West Africa’s Last Wild Giraffe Herds.
The area around Koure reserve was subsequently cordoned off by the Nigerien army and French soldiers from Operation Barkhane.
Interior Minister Alkache Alhada disclosed in an AFP interview that the suspect is in the hands of Niger’s Central Counter-Terrorism Service and investigations are continuing.
“We currently have serious leads, leads that can take us to the perpetrators of these acts.
“We have certain information that gives us indications on probable actors in these horrible crimes,” he said, adding that he expected “positive results.”
On August 10, France’s anti-terrorism prosecutor’s office announced that it had launched a probe into the killings.
Niger Republic is currently battling insecurity and threats from the Islamic State in the Greater Sahara and insecurity in the tri-border area between Mali, Burkina Faso and Niger.