Counter-Terrorism in Niger : Impact on Criminal Justice Approaches and Reconciliation


Thèse de sociologie préparée par MELOTTI Giulia sous la direction de PÉROUSE DE MONTCLOS Marc-Antoine à l’université Paris Descartes

Résumé du projet de thèse

Due to its geographical position, Niger is exposed to criminal activities, including terrorism, on multiple fronts. While groups such as AQIM and MUJAO generate insecurity at the border with Mali and Burkina Faso, the most notable threat is posed by Boko Haram, that in the past two years has carried out repeated attacks, especially at the frontier with Nigeria. The classification of Boko Haram as a terrorist group, also recognized by the United Nations Security Council, sets it apart from the danger posed by other forms of unrest. It inevitably qualifies any form of violence perpetrated by the group as “terrorist”, in turn framing political reactions in terms of counter-terrorism. This research analyses how the political focus on the terrorism phenomenon has influenced criminal justice responses in Niger, and affected perspectives of reconciliation within the country.
Since 2012, the government of Niger has assumed a progressively stronger stance against terrorism, especially at regional and international level. This process culminated in its military engagement against Boko Haram through the establishment and participation in the Multinational Joint Task Force (MNJTF). Such extensive commitment has shaped Niger’s relations to neighboring countries, to Western powers, including aid providers, as well as internal policies. In particular, in 2016, the government of Niger underwent considerable reform to step-up the criminal justice response to terrorism. The adopted measures, which largely focus on criminalization and prosecution of terrorist offences through specialized procedures, reflect the universal understanding of terrorist acts as one of the most serious threats to international peace and security. The extent of violence associated with terrorist attacks and counter-terrorism offensives has led to apprehension of large numbers of terrorist suspects.
This research aims to contribute to a more comprehensive understanding of the effects of counter-terrorism policies in the national context of Niger. First, it focuses on the institutional and procedural impact of counter-terrorism in terms of criminal justice reforms and procedures, in particular the broad criminalization of terrorist acts and the conduct of related prosecutions. Then, it addresses the contribution of the justice process to emerging opportunities for reconciliation.

Lutte au terrorisme, analyse des conflits, justice pénale, sécurité, développement, réconciliation.

Zone géographique
Niger, Afrique de l’ouest.


  • Début du projet : 1/09/2017
  • Fin du projet : 1/09/2020