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State

Capital

Niger

Niamey

Currency unit

CFA franc

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Climate

Nigeria

Islam

Francophonie

Sahel

West Africa

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History

A state on the fringe of the Sahara, with the south in the Sahel zone and the north in the true desert.

In the south live the Hausa people who are also found across the border in northern Nigeria.

In the 18th century there was a Hausa kingdom of Gobir which conquered the Tuareg who had dominated the area up to then. In the south-west are the Songhai-Zerman people; near lake Chad are the Kanuri, who are also found in Nigeria. Nomadic Fulani are found all over. There are still some Tuareg in the northern desert (but these are suffering from prolonged droughts). The nomadic Tuareg are also found in many other parts of the Sahara, and especially in Mali. Some of them are in rebellion against the government which has no sympathy for the needs of nomads.

The south of the territory was part of the empire of Usuman Dan Fodio based on Sokoto in what is now Nigeria.

The French occupied it in an attempt to build an empire consisting of the whole of west and north Africa. In 1904 the French constituted it as a part of French West Africa. Independent in 1960.

One of its neighbors is Algeria, the most important French former colony. Its modern trade routes pass through Nigeria but in the French period trade passed down the railway through Dahomey (now Benin).

Languages

Hausa

Tuareg

Fulani

Arabic

French

 History

 Economics

 Green

 Rights

 Climate

Politics

The Opposition won elections February 1993

Military coup January 1996.

The Opposition won elections February 1993

Military coup January 1996.

Further military coup April 1999.

Military coup in February 2010 after elected president called a referendum to change the constitution to allow him to stand for an further term - believed by many an attempt to become "president for life", really an autogolpe.

 History

 Politics

 Green

 Rights

 Climate

Economics

There is Uranium which is of interest to the French and so they are still there, in an advisory capacity.

 History

 Politics

 Economics

 Rights

 Climate

Green/Ecology

Although most of the state is in arid desert or near desert, there is reason to believe that climate change will bring more rain to the area.

The intense monsoon of 2010 may be a foretaste of this.

 History

 Politics

 Economics

 Green

 Climate

Human Rights

Torture and random massacres of Tuareg reported.

There is slavery - about 8% of the population. It has been illegal since 2001 but the law is not enforced. Slave trading was made illegal in Colonial times. As children of slaves are also slaves the institution remains. There are human rghts campaigns to free the slaves but reports so far indicate that many slaves remain.

Climate effects

August 2010 brought an intense monsoon that flooded large parts of the country. This will not improve food supply as existing crops were mostly washed away.

Last revised 16/08/10


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