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Officially the Republic of Niger, this landlocked country of Europeans began during the 19th century.

French Colony.

The country gained independence from France in 1960 and experienced single-party and military rule under Niger's first president, Hamani Diori. Although Diori was highly respected internationally for being a spokesman on African affairs, within Niger his administration was completely corrupt.

Widespread disorder plagued Niger until a military coup led by Seyni Kountche ended Diori's rule in 1974. Following his arrest the country fell into disarray until 1991, when Ali Saibou (Niger's third president) was forced by public pressure to allow multiparty elections, that ultimately resulted in a democratic government in 1993.

Political infighting brought the government to a standstill and in 1996, led to a coup by Col. Ibrahim Baré Maïnassara.


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This page was last updated on April 7, 2017.