February 17, 2006 |
In the spring of 2001, long before Sept. 11 and the American focus on Iraq, the CIA asked its Paris station about rumors that 200 tons of nuclear material had vanished from two French-owned mines in the West African nation of Niger. "We heard stories this stuff had gone to Iraq, or to Syria, or Libya, or China or North Korea. We heard all kinds of stories," said a now-retired CIA officer.
September 6, 2011 |
A convoy of Libyan military vehicles carrying troops loyal to ousted leader Moammar Kadafi arrived late Monday in this desert town in central Niger, one of Libya's southern neighbors, military sources said. The convoy of between 200 and 250 Libyan military vehicles included officers from Libya's southern army battalions, said the French and Nigerien sources. It probably crossed from Libya into Algeria before entering Niger, they said. It was not immediately clear whether the convoy included any members of Kadafi's family or other high-level members of his government.
April 25, 1989 |
Hamani Diori, Niger's first president after it won independence from France in 1960 and who served until he was ousted in a coup 14 years later, has died, officials said Monday. He was 73. Moroccan government officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said he died Sunday. They provided no cause of death. Diori ruled Niger, a landlocked Sahelian state, from independence from France until he was toppled in a military coup in 1974 by Lt. Col. Seyni Kountche. He spent the next 10 years in jail and was then put under house arrest.
December 27, 1992 |
Despite threats by rebel nomads, Niger held its first open election in 32 years Saturday, a referendum on a constitution that would allow multi-party presidential and legislative balloting next year. A national democracy conference ousted President Ali Saibou in November, 1991, and put transitional Prime Minister Amadou Cheiffou in power. Multi-party elections have already been postponed three times.
June 13, 2009 |
Niger's top court annulled President Mamadou Tandja's plans to hold a constitutional referendum aimed at extending his rule in the uranium-producing West African country, saying it was illegal. Tandja is due to step down when his second term ends this year, but he had called for an Aug. 4 referendum that could have handed him another three years of running the nation, which soon hopes to become the world's No. 2 uranium exporter. The ruling said Tandja's decree calling the referendum violated several articles of Niger's Constitution.
October 28, 1993 |
Government troops assaulted a hijacked Nigerian Airways jetliner at midnight at Niamey airport, freeing 23 hostages and ending a three-day siege. A flight attendant was reported killed. Five people were hurt in the raid on the Airbus 310, a Foreign Ministry official said. The troops arrested four suspected air pirates. The hijackers, who said they were opposed to the military-installed Nigerian government, took over the plane Monday after it took off from Lagos, Nigeria.
November 10, 1987 |
Maj. Gen. Seyni Kountche, who survived four coup attempts as president of the west African state of Niger since 1974, died today in a Paris hospital due to complications from a brain tumor, the hospital said. Kountche, 56, had arrived at Pitie Salpetriere Hospital on Saturday for the fifth time this year for treatment of the tumor. The first trip came after he fell unconscious for two hours on New Year's Eve from a brain hemorrhage.
February 29, 1992 |
Unpaid soldiers mutinied Friday and seized the state radio station and two civilian leaders. They freed the hostages after being promised back pay, but hours later took over the broadcast center again. No casualties were reported, though thousands of students marched into town to protest the revolt. Mutineers' demands have included the immediate return to the capital of Prime Minister Amadou Cheffou, who is away; dismissal of several army officers and release of another officer from prison.