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How Boko Haram used hot pepper for deadly attacks

Nigerien government banned the chilli in 2015.

The Nigerien government ban on the cultivation and sale of red pepper in its Diffa region has been lifted.

The spicy crop considered a special delicacy throughout Niger and parts of Nigeria, popularly called Diffa pepper, was banned in 2015 by the Nigerien government.

So, why was the chili pepper banned in the first place and what does it have to do with terrorism?

BBC World Service Editor, Mary Harper, explains that sale of the crop was a major source of income for Boko Haram fighters in the region.

“The reason for the ban was because Boko Haram militants who mainly based in Nigeria were taxing the chilli pepper trade because it is lucrative and worth millions of dollars a year”, she said.

It’s being seen as a sign that the battle against Boko Haram militants is going well.

“The government has lifted the ban because the number of Boko Haram attacks in Niger has decreased significantly”, she added.

Boko Haram and other militant groups that operate in Africa tend to tax the local groups in a bid to raise much needed revenue for their activities.

The removal of the ban is good news for farmers whose income was destroyed by the ban and consumers who are had missed its flavour.

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