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October 28, 2006 | From Times Wire Reports
Niger's government called off a threat to expel thousands of Arab refugees who had fled neighboring Chad. Spokesman Mohamed Ben Omar said the government was not reacting to international pressure. On Thursday, Omar had said 3,300 refugees living in Niger without proper identity documents would have to leave. That number was many times smaller than an original figure from the interior minister, who said Tuesday that 150,000 refugees were required to leave because of ecosystem damage.
June 23, 2007 | From Times Wire Reports
Rebels attacked an army base in Niger, killing 13 soldiers, wounding 30 and taking at least 47 prisoners, officials said. A statement read on national TV by government spokesman Mohammed ben Omar said a group of heavily armed men attacked security forces early in the day in a remote Saharan outpost not far from Libya.
February 4, 2006 | From Times Staff and Wire Reports
Egypt and Niger were declared free of endemic polio Wednesday by the World Health Organization, bringing the goal of eradicating the paralyzing disease worldwide a step nearer. Egypt, where polio has been traced back 5,000 years, has had no cases for more than a year, and the nine reported in Niger were due to imports of the virus from neighboring Nigeria.
October 27, 2006 | From Times Wire Reports
Niger said an expulsion order issued this week applied to 3,300 refugees from neighboring Chad who lack proper identity documents, not 150,000. The interior minister had said Tuesday that the larger number of Arab refugees, who have lived in this West African nation for decades, would have to leave because they were destroying arid Niger's fragile ecosystem, particularly water sources. Government spokesman Mohamed Ben Omar said the 3,300 had until Saturday to leave the country.
December 5, 2004 | From Times Wire Reports
Niger's President Mamadou Tandja looked set to win another five-year term as head of one of the world's poorest nations after a strong voter turnout in a second round of elections. Tandja, a former army officer credited with bringing a measure of political and economic stability to the mostly desert nation, is expected to win the runoff after sealing the support of the parliament speaker, who finished third in the first round.
July 31, 2005 | From Times Wire Reports
Food by the truckload is finally reaching remote northern Niger, eight months after the first pleas for help. United Nations appeals beginning in November went almost unanswered until the situation reached crisis proportions. Almost a third of the population of 11.3 million risk starvation in this desperately poor West African nation, hit by locusts and then drought.
June 23, 2005 | From Reuters
Millions of people on the southern fringe of the Sahara Desert face severe food shortages unless donors provide more funds, the United Nations said Wednesday. The U.N. World Food Program said it had received only a third of the $11 million it needs to fund emergency operations in Niger and Mali, two of the world's poorest nations, where drought and a locust plague have triggered a food crisis.
September 10, 2004 | From Associated Press
Government troops battled militia forces Thursday in the creeks and mangrove swamps of the Niger Delta, a leading African oil region, pressing an offensive that has forced thousands of villagers to flee their homes. Burned houses and twisted metal roofs -- strewn over an area the size of a football field -- showed the savagery of militia attacks on one slum district in this city of 3 million. A few refugees made their way through the streets, carrying their belongings in bundles.
March 2, 2006 | From Associated Press
Militants released six foreign oil workers Wednesday, including a diabetic Texan celebrating his 69th birthday. But three other hostages -- two Americans and a Briton -- were kept by militants from the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta. The nine were taken captive Feb. 18 to press fighters' demands for a greater share of oil revenue generated in the restive southern region. A militant spokesman said Wednesday that all "low-value" hostages had been freed.
July 20, 2003 | From Associated Press
A journalist for an Italian newsmagazine said in an interview published Saturday that it was she who turned over to U.S. diplomats some documents purportedly showing that Iraq wanted to buy uranium from Niger. The documents turned out to be forgeries. Corriere della Sera, an Italian daily, quoted Elisabetta Burba as saying her source "in the past proved to be reliable." Burba, who writes for the weekly Panorama, refused to reveal her source.
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