Niger regularly ranks as the poorest country on earth in the United Nations’ human development index. If that isn’t a big enough burden, the simmering conflict between the nomadic Tuareg people of the desert and the administration in Niamey was never resolved as in neighbouring Mali. This rebellion is mostly about uranium in the Aïr mountains, mined by the French and profiting the Niamey elite but bringing no benefits to local Tuareg communities. Although the uprising has nothing to do with the aims of the local Al-Qaeda franchise it is inevitably being dragged into the “War on Terror” making much of the country potentially unsafe for visits. . .

(continued on p. 340)

Niger’s tourist industry was already in the doldrums, and the killing of two Frenchmen in January 2011 means it will probably stay there for years. At least the elections of March 2011 were judged “fair and transparent”. The soldiers stepped down and a new civilian president, Mahamadou Issoufou, took office.

Links we like

Friends of Niger Site of current and former US Peace Corps volunteers with info and links.

Temoust French-based website of the Temoust: Tuareg Survival organization, covering culture and news.

Libération-Niger Website of Libération-Niger, a reputable weekly French-language independent news and opinion magazine.

Agadez Niger Excellent photo and video site dedicated to northern Niger, with a potentially useful forum for intending Niger travelers.

Tuareg Fotogalerie Rich and rewarding photo-site, in German, devoted to the Nigérien Sahara.

This page last edited 9 June 2011 © Richard Trillo and Emma Gregg


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