22. Niger (1960-present)

 

Pre-Crisis Phase (August 3, 1960-April 14, 1974):  Niger formally achieved its independence from France on August 3, 1960.  Hamani Dori was elected president by the National Assembly on November 9, 1961.  The U.S. government agreed to provide military assistance (military equipment) to the government beginning on June 14, 1962.  President Dori survived an assassination attempt by a member of the Sawaba Party in Niamey on April 13, 1965 (the Sawaba Party had been banned in December 1959). One individual was killed during the assassination attempt.  The Nigerien government alleged that Ghana was involved in the assassination attempt, but the Ghanian government denied the allegation on April 21, 1965.  President Hamani Dori was re-elected without opposition on September 30, 1965.  Legislative elections were held on October 21, 1965, and the Nigerien Progressive Party-African Democratic Rally (Parti Progressiste Nigérien-Rassemblement Démocratique Africain – PPN-RDA) won 50 out of 50 seats  in the National Assembly.  President Hamani Dori was re-elected without opposition on October 1, 1970.  Legislative elections were held on October 22, 1970, and the PPN-RDA won 50 out of 50 seats in the National Assembly.

Crisis Phase (April 15, 1974-December 26, 1992):  President Hamani Diori was deposed in a military coup led by Lt. Colonel Seyni Kountche on April 15, 1974, and the 12-member Supreme Military Council (SMC) chaired by Lt. Colonel Seyni Kountche took control of the government on April 17, 1974.  The SMC suspended the constitution and dissolved the National Assembly. Some 20 individuals were killed during the military coup. The Guinean government expressed support for the SMC on April 19, 1974.  Major Sani Souna Sido, the vice-chairman of the SMC, was arrested for planning a military rebellion on August 2, 1975. The government suppressed a military rebellion led by Major Bayare Moussa and Captain Sidi Mohammed on March 14-15, 1976, resulting in the deaths of some 50 individuals.  Major Moussa, Captain Mohammed, five other individuals were executed on April 21, 1976.  The U.S. government agreed to provide additional military assistance (training) to the government of Niger on June 9, 1980.  The government suppressed a military rebellion on October 5-6, 1983, resulting in the death of one individual.  Some 99 percent of voter approved the National Charter in a referendum held on June 16, 1987.  Major-General Kountche died on November 10, 1987, and General Ali Seybou was appointed as president of the SMC on November 14, 1987.  On August 22, 1988, four individuals were sentenced to death for their involvement in the military rebellion in October 1983.  A new constitution establishing a one-party state was approved in a referendum held on September 24, 1989.  General Ali Seybou was elected president with more than 99 percent of the vote on December 12, 1989.  Legislative elections were held on December 10, 1989, and the National Movement for the Society of Development (Mouvement National pour la Société du Développement – MNSD) won 93 out of 93 seats in the National Assembly.  On July 29, 1991, the National Consultative Conference (NCC) convened to consider constitutional reform, and the NCC elected Andre Salifou as its chairman.  The NCC suspended the constitution on August 9, 1991. The NCC appointed a 15-member High Council of the Republic (HCR) chaired by Andre Salifou to serve as a provisional legislature on November 2, 1991.  Prime Minister Amadoou Cheiffou formed a provisional government on November 4, 1991, but the government was dissolved on March 23, 1992.  Prime Minister Cheiffou formed a new government on March 27, 1992.  A new constitution was approved by some 90 percent of the voters in a referendum on December 26, 1992. Some 100 individuals were killed during the crisis.

Post-Crisis Phase (December 27, 1992-January 26, 1996):  Legislative elections were held on February 14, 1993, and the National Movement for the Society of Development (Mouvement National pour la Société du Développement – MNSD) won 29 out of 83 seats in the National Assembly. The Democratic and Social Convention – Rahama (Convention Démocratique et Sociale-Rahama – CDS-Rahama) won 22 seats in the National Assembly.  Opposition political parties, which controlled 50 seats in the National Assembly, established the Alliance of Forces of Change (AFC) on February 16, 1993.  Mahamane Ousmane of the SDC was elected president with 54 percent of the vote in the second round of presidential elections held on March 28, 1993.  One individual was killed during anti-government demonstrations in Niamey on April 16-17, 1994.  Government troops and Islamic militants clashed in the town on Kalouka on April 11-14, 1994, resulting in the deaths of ten individuals.  Legislative elections were held on January 12, 1995, and the MNSD won 29 out of 83 seats in the National Assembly.  The CDS-Rahama won 24 seats in the National Assembly.

Crisis Phase (January 27, 1996-present):  President Mahamane Ousmane and Prime Minister Hama Amadou were deposed in a military coup led by Colonel Ibrahim Bare Mainassara on January 27, 1996, resulting in the deaths of five soldiers. Colonel Bare Mainassara also dissolved the parliament, suspended the constitution, banned political parties, and declared a state-of-emergency on January 27, 1996. The governments of the U.S., France, South Africa, and Benin condemned the military coup on January 28, 1996. The United Nations (UN) secretary-general condemned the military coup on January 28, 1996.  The governments of the U.S. and France imposed economic and military sanctions (suspension of economic and military assistance) against Niger on January 28, 1996.  Colonel Bare Mainassara was appointed chairman of the eleven-member National Salvation Council (NSC) on January 28, 1996, and the NSC appointed Boukari Adji as prime minister on January 30, 1996.  Emile-Derlin Zinsou, chairman of the Permanent Council of the Organisation Internationale de la Francophonie (OIF), condemned the military coup on January 28, 1996.  The European Union (EU) condemned the military coup on January 29, 1996. The Council of the Entente (Entente) – a sub-regional organization consisting of Ivory Coast, Benin, Togo, Niger, and Burkina Faso – sent a delegation headed by Gnagninime Bitokotipou of Togo on January 28-29, 1996 to attempt to mediate a resolution of the crisis.  The governments of Mali, Ethiopia, and Botswana condemned the military coup on January 29, 1996.  The Organization of African Unity (OAU) Secretary-General Salim Ahmed Salim condemned the military coup on January 29, 1996.  The presidents of Senegal and Gabon jointly condemned the military coup on January 29, 1996.  The European Union (EU) imposed economic sanctions (suspension of economic assistance) against Niger on January 29, 1996.  Colonel Ibrahim Barre Mainassara appointed a 32-member Coordinating Committee for the Democratic Renewal (CCDR) in February 1996 and a provisional legislature (National Forum for Democratic Renewal) on March 27, 1996.  The French government lifted economic sanctions (suspension of economic assistance) against Niger on March 6, 1996.  A new constitution re-establishing a multiparty system was approved in a referendum held on May 12, 1996.  President Mainassara lifted the ban on political parties on May 19, 1996, and lifted the state-of-emergency on May 23, 1996.  Ibrahim Barre Mainassara was elected president with 52 percent of the vote on July 7-8, 1996, and he was inaugurated as president on August 7, 1996. Opposition parties claimed election fraud. The Organisation Internationale de la Francophonie (OIF) sent observers to monitor the presidential elections, and the group reported that the elections had been free and fair. On July 19, 1996, the National Democratic Institute (NDI), which did not officially observe the presidential election, reported that the election “was so flawed that it represents a major setback to the democratization process in Niger.”  The U.S. government imposed economic sanctions (suspension of economic assistance) against Niger on July 25, 1996. Boukary Adji formed a government as prime minister on August 23, 1996.  Legislative elections were held on November 23, 1996, but the elections were boycotted by the opposition coalition, the Front for the Restoration and Defense of Democracy (FRDD).  The National Union of Independents for Democratic Renewal (NUIDR), a coalition of political parties supportive of President Bare Mainassara, won 59 out of 83 seats in the National Assembly. The Nigerien Alliance for Democracy and Progress (Alliance Nigérienne pour la Démocratie et le Progrès – ANDP) won eight seats in the National Assembly.  Amadou Boubacar Cisse formed a government as prime minister on December 21, 1996.  Anti-government demonstrations occurred in Niamey in January 1997, resulting in the arrest of several members of the FRDD.  President Bare Mainassara dismissed Prime Minister Cisse on November 24, 1997, and appointed Ibrahim Assane Mayaki as prime minister on November 27, 1997.  On January 2, 1998, former prime minister, Hama Amadou, and nine other opposition leaders were arrested for plotting to assassinate President Bare Mainassara.  Former prime minister Hama Amadou was release from detention on January 8, 1998.  The Alliance for Democracy and Progress (ADP) was established by Moumouni Djermakoye on February 2, 1998.  Government security personnel killed two individuals near the presidential palace in Niamey on February 20, 1998.  Government security forces suppressed a military mutiny in Zinder on February 26, 1998.  Government security forces clashed with protesters in the town of Tahoua on April 13, 1998, resulting in injuries to six individuals.    Local elections for some 2,000 municipal, departmental, and regional council seats were held on February 7, 1999.  The OIF sent four observers from four countries headed by Mohamed El Hacen Ould Lebatt of Mauritania to monitor the local elections from February 5-12, 1999. Opposition political party leaders called for President Bare Mainassara’s resignation following claims of election fraud.  On April 7, 1999, the Supreme Court nullified the results of the February 1999 local elections.  President Bare Mainassara and four other individuals were killed by members of the presidential guard on April 9, 1999. Prime Minister Mayaki dissolved the parliament and suspended political party activity on April 9, 1999.  The French government immediately condemned the assassination of President Bare Mainassara, and appealed for a peaceful resolution to the political crisis. UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan condemned the assassination on April 9, 1999.  The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) condemned the assassination on April 9, 1999.  Organization of African Unity (OAU) Secretary-General Salim Ahmed Salim condemned the assassination on April 10, 1999.  Major Daouda Malam Wanke was appointed chairman of the 14-member National Reconciliation Council (NRC) on April 11, 1999.  The NRC promised to restore civilian government within nine months, and lifted the ban on political activity on April 12, 1999.  The Nigerian government condemned the military coup on April 12, 1999. The UN Security Council condemned the assassination of President Bare Mainassara on April 13, 1999. ECOWAS foreign ministers condemned the assassination of President Bare Mainassara on May 25, 1999.  A new constitution re-establishing a multiparty system was approved in a referendum held on July 18, 1999.  Legislative elections were held on October 17 and November 24, 1999, and the National Movement for the Development Society (Mouvement National de la Societe de Developpement – MNSD) won 38 out of 83 seats in the National Assembly.  The Democratic and Social Convention – Rahama (Convention Démocratique et Dociale-Rahama – CDS-Rahama) won 17 seats in the National Assembly.  Mamadou Tandja of the MNSD was elected president with 60 percent of the vote in the second round of presidential elections held on November 24, 1999, and he was inaugurated as president on December 22, 1999.  ECOWAS sent observers to monitor the elections.  The U.S. government lifted economic and military sanctions against Niger on March 9, 2000.  Rebel soldiers mutinied against the government in the town of Diffa (Djifar) beginning on July 31, 2002. The government declared a state-of-emergency on July 31, 2002.  The French government condemned the rebellion on August 1, 2002. Government troops suppressed the military mutiny in the town of Diffa (Djifar) on August 3, 2002, resulting in the deaths of one government soldier and one rebel soldier.  Government troops suppressed a military mutiny in Niamey on August 4-5, 2002.  Government troops suppressed a military mutiny in Ngourti on August 9, 2002, resulting in the deaths of two government soldiers.  President Tandja was re-elected with 66 percent of the vote in the second round of the presidential election held on December 4, 2004.  Legislative elections were held on December 4, 2004, and the National Movement for the Society of Development (Mouvement National pour la Société du Développement – MNSD) won 47 out of 113 seats in the National Assembly.  The Nigerien Party for Democracy and Socialism (Parti Nigerien pour la Democratie et le Socialisme-PNDS) won 17 seats in the National Assembly.  The African Union (AU) sent observers to monitor the presidential and legislative elections.  The Organisation Internationale de la Francophonie (OIF) sent ten observers to monitor the presidential and legislative elections.  On March 10, 2006, a military tribunal convicted six government soldiers for their involvement in the 2002 mutinies.  The government of Prime Minister Hama Amadou collapsed following a vote of no-confidence in the National Assembly on June 1, 2007.  On May 26, 2009, President Mamadou Tandja dissolved the National Assembly, which had opposed his proposal to hold a constitutional referendum on the question of amending the constitution to remove the two-year limit on presidents.  On June 12, 2009, the Constitutional Court ruled in a legal case that the president’s proposed constitutional referendum was unconstitutional.  President Mamadou Tandja dissolved the government and declared a state of emergency on June 26, 2009.  President Mamadou Tandja dissolved the Constitutional Court on June 29, 2009, and the president appointed a new Constitutional Court on July 3, 2009.  The European Union (EU) imposed economic sanctions (suspension of developmental assistance) against the Nigerien government on July 12, 2009.  The constitutional referendum was held on August 4, 2009, and 92 percent of the voters approved the proposal to allow President Mamadou Tandja to run for a third term.  Opposition political parties boycotted the referendum.  The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) appointed retired General Abdulsalami Abubakar, former president of Nigeria, as the ECOWAS mediator in the Niger crisis on October 17, 2009.  Legislative elections were held on October 20, 2009, and the National Movement for the Development of Society (Mouvement National de le Societe de Developpement – MNSD) won 76 out of 113 seats in the National Assembly.  The Social Democratic Rally (Rassemblement Social Democratique – RSD) won 15 seats in the National Assembly.  Several opposition political parties boycotted the legislative elections.  The ECOWAS imposed diplomatic sanctions (suspension of membership) and economic sanctions (suspension of economic assistance) against the Nigerien government on October 21, 2009.  Representatives of the government and opposition political parties started ECOWAS-mediated negotiations in Niamey on December 21, 2009.  The U.S. government imposed economic sanctions (suspension of development assistance and travel ban on some government officials) against the Nigerien government on December 23, 2009.  Representatives of the government and opposition political parties resumed ECOWAS-mediated negotiations on January 12, 2010.  President Mamadou Tandja was overthrown in a military coup led by Major Adamou Harouna on February 18, 2010.  The Supreme Council for the Restoration of Democracy (CSRD) headed by General Salou Djibo took control of the Nigerien government on February 18, 2010.  Ten individuals, including four government soldiers, were killed during the military coup.  The African Union (AU) condemned the military coup on February 18, 2010, and imposed diplomatic sanctions (suspension of membership) against the Nigerien government on February 19, 2010.  France condemned the military coup on February 18, 2010.  On February 20, 2010, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon condemned the military coup in Niger.  On February 23, 2010, Mahamadou Danda was appointed as prime minister, and an interim government of 20 ministers was appointed on March 1, 2010.  A new constitution was approved by 90 percent of voters in a referendum held on October 31, 2010.  Legislative elections were held on January 31, 2011, and the Nigerien Party for Democracy and Socialism (Parti Nigerien pour la Democratie el le Socialisme – PNDS) won 39 out of 113 seats in the National Assembly.  The National Movement for the Development of Society (Mouvement National de le Societe de Developpement – MNSD) won 26 seats in the National Assembly.  Mahamadou Issoufou of the Nigerien Party for Democracy and Socialism (Parti Nigerien pour la Democratie el le Socialisme-PNDS) was elected president with 58 percent of the vote in the second round held on March 12, 2011.  The European Union (EU) sent 40 observers from 17 countries led by Santiago Fisas Ayxela of Spain to monitor the presidential and legislative elections from January 5 to March 13, 2011.  The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) sent observers led by Koffi Sama of Togo to monitor the presidential and legislative elections through March 13, 2011.  The African Union (AU) sent observers headed by Khalifa Babacar Sall from Senegal to monitor the legislative and presidential elections through March 13, 2011.  The African Union (AU) lifted diplomatic sanctions (suspension of membership) against the Nigerien government on March 20, 2011.  The ECOWAS lifted diplomatic assistance (suspension of membership) and economic sanctions (suspension of economic assistance) against the Nigerien government on March 24, 2011.  Mahamadou Issoufou was inaugurated as president on April 7, 2011.  President Mahamadou Issoufou appointed Brigi Rafini of the Nigerien Party for Democracy and Socialism (Parti Nigerien pour la Democratie el le Socialisme-PNDS) as prime minister on April 7, 2011.  The U.S. government lifted economic sanctions (suspension of development assistance) against the Nigerien government on July 5, 2011.  The European Union (EU) lifted economic sanctions (suspension of development assistance) against the Nigerien government on July 19, 2011.  On July 26, 2011, the government suppressed a plot by five government military personnel to assassinate President Mahamadou Issoufou.  Government troops killed three Islamic militants in the Agadez region on September 15, 2011.  Thirty-four individuals, including 24 government soldiers and eight Islamist militants, were killed as a result of a a suicide bomb attack at a military base in Agadez on May 23, 2013.  The African Union (AU) condemned the suicide bombing on May 23, 2013.  During an attack by suspected Islamist militants, twenty-two prisoners escaped from a prison in Niamey on June 2, 2013, resulting in the deaths of three prison guards.

[Sources: Africa Diary, April 15-21, 1976, March 4-10, 1984; Africa Research Bulletin (ARB), April 1-30, 1974, March 1-31, 1976, April 1-30, 1976, December 15, 1987, October 15, 1988; Agence France Presse (AFP) December 21, 2009, February 20, 2010, September 24, 2010, May 23, 2013; Associated Press (AP), April 10, 1999, April 12, 1999, April 13, 1999, October 20, 1999, November 26, 1999, May 24, 2013; Banks and Muller, 1998, 675-682; British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) January 2, 1998, January 3, 1998, January 8, 1998, January 9, 1998, February 2, 1998, February 20, 1998, February 26, 1998, February 27, 1998, April 14, 1998, April 20, 1998, November 27, 1999, August 2, 2002, August 6, 2002, August 9, 2002, November 20, 2004, December 7, 2004, February 21, 2006, March 10, 2006, June 1, 2007, May 26, 2009, June 26, 2009, August 7, 2009, October 20, 2009, October 24, 2009, February 19, 2010, February 20, 2010, February 23, 2010, November 3, 2010, February 4, 2011, March 14, 2011, April 7, 2011, July 26, 2011, September 16, 2011, May 23, 2013, June 2, 2013; Degenhardt, 1988, 255-256; Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) press release, April 9, 1999, October 21, 2009; European Union (EU) press release, January 29, 1996, July 19, 2011; Facts on File, April 20, 1974, March 20, 1976, July 3, 1976; Foreign Broadcast Information Service (FBIS), January 29, 1996, January 30, 1996, February 1, 1996; Jessup, 1998, 527-529; Keesing’s Record of World Events, August 7-14, 1965, November 14-21, 1970, May 6-12, 1974, May 7, 1976, September 1987, February 1993, March 1993, April 1994, January 1996, May 1996, July 1996, August 1996, June 1997, November 1997, April 1999; Langer, 1972, 1265; Organizations of African Unity (OAU) press release, April 10, 1999; Panafrican News Agency (PANA), January 14, 1999, April 12, 1999, May 26, 1999; Reuters, February 7, 1999, April 9, 1999, April 10, 1999, April 12, 1999, July 18, 1999, July 20, 1999, October 17, 1999, November 24, 1999, November 27, 1999, December 22, 1999, March 9, 2000, August 3, 2002, August 4, 2002, August 6, 2002, November 6, 2009, January 4, 2010, February 18, 2010, February 19, 2010, February 23, 2010, October 31, 2010, March 13, 2011, March 17, 2011, March 24, 2011, May 23, 2013, May 24, 2013, June 2, 2013; U.S. Department of State press release, July 5, 2011; Voice of America (VOA), January 27, 1996, January 28, 1996, November 12, 2009, February 18, 2010.]

 

Selected Bibliography

Higgott, Richard and Finn Fuglestad. 1975. “The 1974 Coup d’ Etat in Niger: Towards an Explanation,” The Journal of Modern African Studies, vol. 13 (3), pp. 383-398.