Niger Border Map

Yearbook 2003

Niger. There was strained relations between the government and the free media. Fourteen private radio stations were deprived of their broadcast rights in the fall after the government claimed that their licenses were issued on incorrect grounds. The decision meant that parts of the country were without radio broadcasts. The publisher of the magazine Le RĂ©publicain was sentenced to six months imprisonment for forging the prime minister and finance minister in an article on unauthorized payments in connection with government contracts. The publisher of the weekly newspaper L’EnquĂȘteur was sentenced to one year’s imprisonment on condition and three months’ bail from the capital Niamey following an article on ethnic considerations in awarding government contracts.

According to Countryaah.com, Niger Independence Day is August 3. The US and Britain’s claims that Iraq should have tried to buy uranium from Niger – a feature of the argument for a military strike against Iraq – were very badly raised. Niger felt designated as a runner-up to Saddam Hussein’s regime in Iraq. The bitterness was particularly great as the government in N. has very little influence on how the country’s uranium resources are handled. The business is entirely managed by the French company COGEMA.

In 2003, the Nigerian government became involved in the international conflict over Iraq when intelligence reports from the US and Britain alleged that Iraq had purchased uranium in Niger for the purpose of producing nuclear weapons. The “evidence” consisted, inter alia, of in copies of letters from the Nigerian government, but already when the IAEA International Atomic Energy Commission investigated the papers, it found that there were bad counterfeits. The signatory ministers were not ministers at all at the time the letters were dated. That did not stop the US and Britain from continuing the charges of buying uranium from Niger, and only months after the invasion of Iraq in March 2003 did the occupying forces admit that there were fake scams.

In June 2004, Niger agreed to work to reduce discrimination against women with a new project supported by the African Development Fund. The project aims to promote equality between both genders, and to ensure the achievement of the UN Millennium Goals on gender equality.

In July, local elections were held, won by the parties supporting Tandja Mamadou.

On December 7, the Nigerian Election Commission announced that Mamadou was re-elected as president in the 2nd round of elections with 65% of the vote, while his socialist counterpart Mamadou Issoufou got 34.5%. International election observers confirmed that the election had been conducted freely and fairly.

As of April 2005, the government systematically rejected the existence of a food crisis in Niger and put pressure on journalists on the state media to get them to follow this line. Yet independent journalists in newspapers and on radio stations published news of the crisis. In August, President Mamadou was forced to admit the lack of food in certain areas of the country, but denied that the country was facing famine. These were only rumors spread by the country’s opposition and UN relief agencies. On the other hand, the United Nations Food Program (World Food Program) rejected the existence of exaggeration and pointed out that in some parts of the country there was serious malnutrition. At the same time, the organization began distributing food in the southern part of the country. Other relief organizations confirmed,

In March 2006, the UN placed Niger on the list of African countries in immediate need of relief to mitigate the food crisis. The country has the worst indicators of poverty and human development on earth. Doctors Without Borders stated that if donor countries do not “dig deep into their pockets”, the situation for many of the country’s inhabitants will be desperate in a matter of months. The poor harvest will have consequences for most of the country’s inhabitants in the next 2-3 years in the future.

Prime Minister Amadou lost a vote of confidence in Parliament on May 31 and resigned. The president appointed Seyni Oumarou to the post instead.

Niger Border Map