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'Amajimbos are safe in Niger'

Safa has assured the country that the team is safe as they prepare to play in the Caf U17 AYC.

South African Football Association.

JOHANNESBURG - The South African Football Association (Safa) has released a statement reassuring South Africans that the national U17 team is safe in Niger.

This follows reports on the spate of Boko Haram attacks in the country recently.

The country's leaders have declared a state of emergency following threats from Nigerian terror group Boko Haram.

"The South African Men's U17 National Team, Amajimbos, is in the West African nation to play in the 11th Edition of the Caf U17 African Youth Championships (AYC) which kicks off on Sunday, 15 February.

"The South Africans are based in the capital Niamey, about 1,400km away from the restive border with Nigeria where rebels Boko Haram are staging a war against the government," the statement read.

Niger declared a 15-day state of emergency on the border region of Diffa, the main city in the country's far east, just across the border from Nigeria, after a spate of attacks by Boko Haram.

The declaration gives troops in Diffa new powers to search homes without a warrant and impose a curfew.

The curfew will force Diffa residents to stay indoors between 20h00 and 06h00 local time.

Amajimbos have been drawn in Group B of the 2015 AYC and will begin their campaign against Cote d'Ivoire on 16 February.

They then play Mali on 19 February and will round off their group stage matches against Cameroon on 22 February.