Niger. In January, nine militants and one civilian were
sentenced to between 5 and 15 years in prison for coup
attempt against President Mahamadou Issoufou two years
earlier. The government claimed that there were plans to
arrest the president and the chief of the bodyguard. The
coup's alleged leader, General Salou Souleymane, was
sentenced to 15 years. According to the opposition, there
was no convincing evidence of the charges.
Countryaah.com, the EU decided to double its support for Niger and its
neighboring countries in the fight against Islamists and
refugee smugglers taking people across the Mediterranean to
Europe. The equivalent of SEK 4 billion was promised at a
conference in Brussels with the EU, UN, AU and USA and
others. German Chancellor Angela Merkel said that work to
stop what she described as illegal migration from Africa to
Europe must begin in countries such as Niger, Mali and Chad.
In May, the International Migration Organization (IOM)
rescued nearly 400 migrants stranded in northern Niger
without food and almost without water. Several thousand
people were taken care of in similar ways during the year.
While Europeans were focused on migration, Niger
primarily saw the need for support in the fight against
terrorism. President Issoufou said in Brussels that the
promised support must come quickly, as Islamic State (IS)
terrorists driven away from Libya and Syria are now
operating in the Sahel region.
At least five people were killed and several injured when
terrorists attacked a market in Toummour in southeast Niger
in March. The terror group Boko Haram suspects are behind.
In April, a German relief worker was kidnapped near the Mali
border. In June, at least ten people were killed near the
border with Nigeria when suicide bombers attacked a mosque
at the end of the month of Ramadan. Six soldiers were also
killed in the area, and Boko Haram said he was behind. Later
in the year, an Italian priest was kidnapped near the border
with Burkina Faso.
In March, IS released in a propaganda channel a video of
an attack in Niger the year before when some 50 terrorists
killed nine Nigerian and US soldiers. The film found in one
of the dead soldiers' helmets showed how the attackers had
grenades and automatic weapons, but the soldiers only
During the year, the US military built an air base
outside Agadez in Niger to be used for armed drones against
When the opposition protested against tax increases, more
than 20 protesters were arrested in the capital Niamey after
violent clashes with police. The arrested were sentenced to
prison accused of rioting, four of whom were leading
A cholera epidemic broke out in the Maradi region of
southern Niger. In August, it was reported that nearly 1,000
people were affected and 13 people died in the disease. The
children were particularly vulnerable. Heavy rain and
flooding made it difficult to stop the spread of the
By the end of August, at least 36 people had died in
floods and more than 130,000 had left their homes. Farmland
had been submerged, cattle had drowned and water was
polluted as the Niger River flooded after heavy rains.
According to a report from the United Nations Population
Fund, women in Niger have the highest fertility rate in the
world. In the Nigerian countryside, every woman gives birth
to an average of more than eight children and half the
population in the country is under 15 years of age.
This year's alternate Nobel Prize, the Right Livelihood
Award, went to Yacouba Sawadogo, the man who stopped the
desert. He has transformed thousands of hectares of dry land
in Niger and Burkina Faso into fertile land using ancient