Citizens in Niger head to the polls to elect their President in their first democratic power transfer since the country's independence from France. The election comes amidst a growing Islamist insurgency as Mohamed Bazoum is the favourite to succeed incumbent Mahamadou Issoufou, who is stepping down after serving two five-year terms.
The United States says it is "deeply concerned" about abuses by state security forces in the Sahel and threatens to cut aid to the G5 nations that form a coalition in the area – Burkina Faso, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, and Chad – if those issues are not addressed. The U.S. also welcomes a summit to be held between the G5 nations and France and Spain.
Militants kill at least 17 Niger Armed Forces troops in an ambush near the Malian border. Another 11 soldiers are missing; six others have been evacuated to a hospital. No group has claimed responsibility.
An overnight raid by suspected Boko Haram militants on Niger's southern border town of Abadam, kills two Nigerien Army soldiers and three civilians. And, separately, a suicide-bomb attack on Lake Chad killed three of the attackers but no one else. A military convoy was also ambushed by militants in northern Cameroon, although there were no reported deaths.
For the first time in nearly eighteen months, a sign of life appears of four French nationals kidnapped by Al-Qa'eda in Arlit, Niger. A videotape shows them healthy; they ask France to negotiate their release.