Niger’s population in 1999 was estimated at 10.6 million people, with a growth rate of 3.2%. The economy of Niger was largely dependent on its agricultural sector, which accounted for around 44% of the country’s GDP. This was supplemented by the mining and tourism industries. Foreign relations in 1999 were largely positive with the country enjoying strong ties with many African nations and the wider international community. Politically, Niger had been a multi-party state since 1991 when it formally adopted a democratic system. The ruling party at this time was the National Movement for the Development of Society (MNSD), which had been in power since 1993. In 1999, Ibrahim Baré Maïnassara was President and had been since 1996. See ethnicityology for Niger in the year of 2018.
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.
- Also see Abbreviationfinder.org to see the acronym of NER which stands for Niger and other definitions of this 3-letter abbreviation.
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.
History. – Like other regional actors, the Niger also has basic ethnic divisions which weaken its social stability and put its political stability at risk. The main tensions occur between the groups inhabiting the desert north, semi-nomadic and more linked to Arab influence and culture (Tuareg, Kanuri and Toubou, totaling about 20% of the population), and the sub-Saharan settled communities of the South, which control almost all of the country’s food and agricultural resources. At the same time, however, the huge Nigerian raw materials (uranium above all) and the extractive infrastructures are located in the center of the country, in areas often disputed between the different ethnic components. Since the acquisition of independence from France in 1960,
A major Tuareg revolt broke out in 2007, soon spreading to Mali across the porous desert borders between the two countries. The rebellion ended two years later, in 2009, with the signing of an agreement in Tripoli (sponsored by Muammar Gaddafi) which laid the foundations for greater decentralization and for the co-optation of Tuareg leaders in national political institutions. The president of the so-called Fifth Republic, Mamadou Tandja, who came to power through democratic elections in 1999, used the peace accords to further extend his mandate beyond 2009, as he had done in the past, by establishing the Sixth Republic of Nigeria. The tensions resulting from this constitutional prevarication – which had also brought the ECOWAS (Economic Community of West African States) to suspend the country from the organization – led the Niger to yet another coup in 2010, which was followed by a transition phase under the power of the CSRD (Conseil Suprême pour la Restauration de la Démocratie), an authoritarian body under the control of the army (and of General Salou Djibo, a key figure in the coup). This confusing and unconstitutional phase, condemned by the regional and international community, ended with the 2011 elections and the victory of Mahamadou Issoufou (one of the opposition leaders).
Demonstration of opposition parties
The new president, however, continued the policy of including the Tuareg in Nigerian institutions. This, despite the serious food crisis that had involved the northern regions of the country (aridity, drought and desertification for years had condemned the Niger to the humanitarian emergency), made it possible to maintain relative political stability; also and above all in the context of the deterioration of regional security following the crisis in Mali between 2012 and 2013. The spillover risk of terrorism remained high however: the flow of refugees from Mali, the permeable borders and the precarious economic and social conditions of the Niger kept the danger of radicalization of large sections of society high.