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/ 8 December 2007

Niger journalists freed on defamation charge

Police in Niger have released two journalists held for allegedly defaming the country’s finance minister, but they still face prosecution, a press association said on Friday. ”The prosecutor has notified them that legal procedures will follow their normal course,” said Boubacar Diallo, of the Association of Independent Press Editors.

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/ 9 November 2007

Niger launches slavery probe

The government of Niger has launched a probe into the extent of slavery in the impoverished West African country, an official said on Friday. Unofficial estimates put the number of slaves at about 800 000. The three-month probe was launched on Thursday.

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/ 23 June 2007

Rebels kill 13 at Niger army base

Rebels attacked an army base in Niger, killing 13 soldiers and taking at least 47 prisoners on Friday, the government said. An ethnic Tuareg group claimed responsibility, just days after it said it was behind an assault on a local airport. In addition to the 13 soldiers killed, 30 others were wounded at the base, about 2 000km north-east of the capital.

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/ 1 March 2007

Why the Niger River is in intensive care

Stretching over more than 4 000km, the Niger is West Africa’s longest river, and greatly threatened in the country of the same name by environmental degradation that is causing the water course to silt up. ”The lack of vegetation along the river prevents water retention during rainfall,” says Mahaman Laminou Attaou, national director for the environment in Niger’s Ministry of Water Affairs.

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/ 25 October 2006

Niger to expel 150 000 Arabs who fled from Chad

Niger said on Tuesday it planned to expel 150 000 Arabs, who fled conflict in neighbouring Chad two decades ago, because of tensions with indigenous rural communities in the West African nation. The nomadic Arabs sought refuge in Niger during the 1980s from a series of armed conflicts which shook Chad, as Libyan-backed forces tried to conquer the country.

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/ 6 July 2006

Niger rights groups protest cost of living

Several thousand people demonstrated peacefully in Niger’s capital on Thursday in a new protest called by a coalition of civic rights groups against the cost of key services in the country. After a rally outside the Parliament, the protestors marched to Nelson Mandela Square, near the presidency, where they handed a petition to two aides of President Mamadou Tandja.

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/ 27 March 2006

West Africa seeks aid to help fight bird flu

Heads of state and government of eight French-speaking west African countries met in Niamey, Niger on Monday to discuss an emergency plan to combat lethal bird flu and choose a new head for the central bank of west African states. The summit opened with grim statistics on the danger that could face the region’s poultry if the H5N1 virus, which first hit the region in February, is not contained.

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/ 13 March 2006

Limited assistance for bird flu in Niger

Two weeks after bird flu was confirmed in Niger, authorities have received only limited assistance to tackle the deadly H5N1 virus. The government of Niger launched an appeal for assistance the day after bird flu was confirmed in Niger at the end of February. First off the mark with help was neighbouring Nigeria.

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/ 20 September 2005

Niger food aid to continue beyond harvests

The United Nations said on Monday that food distribution targeting Niger’s most vulnerable populations will continue beyond the harvests hoped to return food security to the impoverished West African state. The announcement came amid bubbling controversy over further food distribution beyond harvest time.

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/ 24 August 2005

Kofi Annan visits Niger

United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan arrived on Tuesday in Niger to ”see for myself” the impact of a devastating famine in the largely desert West African country after the United Nations was accused of bungling aid action. He said he would discuss with Prime Minister Hama Amadou measures to deal with the massive crisis gripping one of the world’s poorest nations.

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/ 13 August 2005

Niger needs lasting solutions to its problems

When aid workers start packing up after dealing with the hunger emergency, Niger’s leaders will be left struggling to find lasting solutions to a cycle of chronic lack of food that affects much of Africa. Even in ”normal” times, two-thirds of Niger’s population lives on less than a day and 40% of children show signs of malnutrition.

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/ 8 July 2005

Morocco airlifts food to hunger-stricken Niger

Morocco has begun airlifting rice, powdered milk and other food stuffs to Niger as part of an effort to ease hunger pangs afflicting one in four of the West African state’s 12-million people, a government official said on Friday. A Moroccan-staffed rural clinic to treat malnutrition has also been erected in the hard-hit central Maradi region.

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/ 22 December 2004

Niger police crack down on newspaper

Niger police acknowledged on Wednesday that officers had toured the capital, Niamey, this week to remove all copies of the independent weekly Testimony (Le Temoin) ahead of the inauguration of re-elected President Mamadou Tandja. Tandja was inaugurated on Tuesday after his second-round victory on December 4.