Niger. According to
Countryaah.com, the country's first elected President Mahamane
Ousmane was overthrown in January by militia led by
Lieutenant Colonel Ibrahim BarÚ Ma´nassara, who declared the
action necessary to save the country. He promised that the
military would rule the country only for a transitional
A new constitution was adopted in May after it was
approved by a referendum, and in July, presidential
elections were held; Ma´nassara won with 52.22% against
19.75% for the nearest opponent. The victory came to an end
since Ma´nassara replaced the Independent Electoral
Commission with his own and put four of the main opponents
in house arrest.
The parliamentary elections held at the end of November
were boycotted by the opposition. The election was a
remission from Ma´nassara as the EU called for general
elections for continued aid.
In June, the International Monetary Fund approved a $ 83
million loan to Niger.
In June 2007, the Nigerian Justice Movement launched an
armed attack on a military post in Tazerzait in northern
Niger. The attack killed 13 government soldiers and is
considered part of the growing mobilization among Tuaregans
who accuse the government of not contributing to the
solution to the increasing marginalization they are in.
Oumarou declared a few days later that negotiations with the
rebels would not come to an end.
2010 From autocracy to military dictatorship
In May 2009, President Tandja dissolved the National
Assembly. The background was his personal desire to be able
to sit for a third term, following the normal expiration of
his December 2009 term. Instead, he set up a constitutional
court to draft a new constitution to be sent to the
referendum in August. The constitutional amendment should
give him a third term, and at the same time concentrate
further power on the presidency itself. The opposition,
however, fiercely objected to the president's actions,
calling him dictator. Niger was also suspended from the West
African Common Market, Ecowas, and several Western countries
ceased their assistance to the country, which is already one
of the world's poorest.
With ECOWAS as a mediator, negotiations between Tandja
and the opposition were initiated. However, the negotiations
went hard and the opposition continued its demonstrations.
On February 14, 2010, 10,000 in the capital Niamey
demonstrated against the president. On February 18, soldiers
attacked the presidential palace and ended up capturing the
president. Ten people, including 4 soldiers, were killed
during the attack.
Following the conquest of the presidential palace and the
capture of the president, a "Supreme Council for the
Restoration of Democracy" was set up under the leadership of
Lieutenant General Salou Djibo. Tandja was now placed under
house arrest and a week after the coup, military junta
Mahamadou Danda inaugurated as prime minister.
While most of the world condemned the military coup and
the African Union suspended Niger from its activities, the
United States was content to declare that Niger was in a
"difficult situation". The United States has interests in
the country's uranium and oil.
In late March, a number of supporters of the ousted
president were arrested, and in April, directors of
state-owned companies affiliated with Tandja were removed.
In late April, the dictatorship announced that it had set up
a committee that within 45 days would draft a new
constitution. At the same time, it presented a timetable for
the reinstatement of democracy: in October 2010, a number of
votes on the Constitution were to be held, in December
presidential elections and in January 2011 presidential