Niger. Visit Countryaah official website to get information about the capital city of Niger. President Ibrahim Baré Maïnassara was killed in April by his bodyguards. The murder was believed to be linked to a criticized decision by the Supreme Court two days earlier to annul the local elections in February, when the opposition won. Guard Chief Major Daouda Malam Wanké was named new head of state and promised to reinstate civilian rule within nine months.
Almost all aid was interrupted after the coup, which explained the urgency to return to democracy. Niger is classified by the United Nations as the world’s second poorest country and is severely affected by the recent uranium price collapse, the foremost natural resource. Missing wages to government employees often lead to unrest.
A new constitution that diminished the president’s power was adopted in a referendum, despite criticism that the political deadlock that led to Maïnassara’s coup in 1996 was caused by the then constitution having the same division of power between the president and the government as the new one.
In the November presidential election, Tandja won Mamadou, a 61-year-old retired colonel and former interior minister. He represented the old state-bearing party MNSD, which together with allies also won in the parliamentary elections held at the same time. As Prime Minister, MNSD Secretary-General Hama Amadou was appointed, who previously held the same post.
In December 2015, the military arrested 9 officers for plans to conduct a military coup. Opposition leader Hama Amadou rejected the existence of coup plans, accusing the government of creating a politically high-spirited atmosphere before the February 2016 elections.
The 2016 presidential and parliamentary elections became a messy affair. During the first round of the presidential election, the incumbent President Issoufou got 48.4% of the vote, while opposition leader Hama Amadou came in second with 17.7%. The two candidates therefore had to run in another election round. But two weeks before the second election, the opposition announced it was boycotting the election. However, 3 days later, Amadou announced that he was still standing. The opposition candidate therefore stood at the same time as the opposition boycotted the election. In the second election, Issoufou got 92.5% of the vote while Amadou got 7.5%. At the same time, turnout decreased from 66.8% to 59.8%. In addition to boycotting the election, the opposition now accused the president of electoral fraud.
In the parliamentary elections, parties supporting Issoufou received 118 out of 171 seats. When Parliament met at the end of March, the opposition announced it was boycotting Parliament. Up to the formation of a government in April, Issoufou called on the opposition to join a national unity government, which it rejected. Brigi Raffini continued in the post of Prime Minister.
By the end of 2016, the number of refugees in the Diffa region in need of humanitarian aid had risen to over 300,000. There were 184,000 internally displaced persons, 29,000 refugees returned and 88,000 refugees from Nigeria.
Four North American elite soldiers and 6 Niger soldiers were killed in October 2017 as they fell into an ambush conducted by Islamic State in Greater Sahara (ISGS). 11 North American elite soldiers and 30 Nigerian soldiers were to gather intelligence in the western part of the country near the Mali border. In previous years, ISGS had grown in the face of contradictions and water disputes between Tuareger from Mali and Fulanis from Niger. Yet another fundamentalist organization that had emerged as a result of the West’s war on Libya in 2011 that sent thousands of armed Tuaregans back to Mali.