Niger has struggled to cope with years of attacks by armed groups that have launched significant deadly attacks and forced many people from their homes.
Areas around the capital, Niamey, were largely considered secure. But on Sunday, attackers on motorbikes targeted a wildlife sanctuary a short drive from the city.
Six French humanitarian aid workers were shot dead, along with their Nigerien driver and a guide as they visited a protected giraffe reserve.
The leaders of both France and Niger condemned the attack as cowardly and ordered a military operation to find the killers.
French prosecutors say a “terror investigation'” is under way, while President Emmanuel Macron chaired a national defence council meeting to consider further action.
So, how big a threat do the armed groups pose in Niger and other parts of West Africa?
Presenter: Hashem Ahelbarra
Ovigwe Eguegu – Geopolitical and security analyst at the Afripolitika think-tank
Manu Lekunze – Lecturer and author of Inherent and Contemporary Challenges to African Security
Marie-Roger Biloa – President of the Africa International Media Group
Source: Al Jazeera News