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.

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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 […]

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Recent violence in Niger shows growing intolerance among religious groups

Recent violence in Niger shows growing intolerance among religious groups

Mixed emotions were evident as members of the Christian community in Niger gathered for their services on Sunday, 25 January, 2015. Some were full of joy to get back to church; others could barely hide their sorrow. A week ago, the church bells remained silent. Ten people died during that […]

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Boko Haram blamed for prison break

Niger’s Minister of Justice has blamed Boko Haram for a prison raid in capital city Niamey on June 1. Twenty-two prisoners escaped, including a member of jihadist group Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb. (Fides) Related Articles:Niger’s churches rebuilt, but West African nation…Niger: pastor’s daughter kidnapped by suspected Boko…Persecution Watch countries: […]

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