Niger has an unusual story to tell: a military overthrow in 2010 that resulted in a new constitution and improving conditions for political and civil groups, and expanding press freedom. However, the government has responded to the Boko Haram insurgency in part with tightening restrictions on the press. The tiny fraction of the population that is Christian has not been subject to the level of violence afflicting other parts of Western Africa. Still, Niger feels Islamist pressures from Boko Haram in southern neighbour Nigeria, and from Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb in western neighbour Mali. Arid and bereft of many natural resources, Niger relies on international aid for nearly two-thirds of its economy – conditions that the government fears could cause impoverished citizens to yield to militant Islamist influence. In January 2015, over 70 churches were ransacked and burned down by hundreds of Islamist demonstrators angered by a cartoon published by the French magazine Charlie Hebdo. In October 2016, American missionary Jeff Woodke was kidnapped from the northern town of Abalak. He is still missing.

Sort By date
Filter by Tag
Category

Niger: pastor’s daughter kidnapped by suspected Boko Haram militants

Street scene in Zinder, Niger's second biggest town, where thousands of people fled to after Boko Haram first attacked Diffa in February 2015. (Photo: World Watch Monitor)

The teenage daughter of a pastor was kidnapped on 16 October in Diffa, south-eastern Niger, in what appears to be the first targeted kidnapping of a Christian by Boko Haram-affiliated militants in the West African nation. Aphodiya Garba Maida, 17, daughter of a pastor with the EERN (Église Évangélique de […]

Read More

Niger churches ‘abandoned’ after Charlie Hebdo destruction

Niger churches ‘abandoned’ after Charlie Hebdo destruction

In the aftermath of the Charlie Hebdo attacks in Paris, the churches in the predominantly Muslim West African nation of Niger experienced the worst attacks in their history. On the weekend of 16-17 January, hundreds of angry Islamists attacked and ransacked dozens of properties and churches, shouting “Allahu Akbar” (“Allah […]

Read More

Boko Haram’s attacks spread into Niger sparking mass exodus

Boko Haram’s attacks spread into Niger sparking mass exodus

Nigeria’s neighbour to its north, French-speaking Niger, is the latest country to pledge its army will fight the radical Islamic group, Boko Haram. Boko Haram’s military and strategic advance has already provoked the postponement of Nigeria’s Presidential election, due to have been held this Saturday, 14 February. The election is […]

Read More