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April 26, 1989 | From Times Wire Services
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 | From Associated Press
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.
November 10, 1987 | Times Wire Services
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 | From Associated Press
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.
October 31, 2013 | By Robyn Dixon, This post has been corrected. See the note below for details.
JOHANNESBURG, South Africa -- It's a long, arduous and well-worn route. Hopeful Africans travel north through Niger, Mali and Algeria, crossing the Sahara desert to reach Europe, find work and send money home to their families. The exodus often goes nightmarishly wrong for the migrants. They must trust their lives to unscrupulous smugglers. If someone hasn't been paid along the route, they are sometimes abandoned by their driver. If a vehicle breaks down in the desert, there is no guarantee that help will ever come.
May 8, 2012 | By Eryn Brown, Los Angeles Times / for the Booster Shots blog
The aid organization Save the Children released its annual State of the World's Mothers report Tuesday. Once again, conditions for moms in the U.S. trailed that of many other developed nations. The country's position climbed six places to 25 th , sandwiched between Belarus and the Czech Republic.  Save the Children's 2012 rankings compare 165 countries - 122 in the developing world - examining maternal health, education and economic status alongside the health and nutrition of children.
July 27, 2011 | By Andrew Gilbert, Special to the Los Angeles Times
When the Tuareg people of northern Niger once again decided to take up arms in the face of government neglect and repression in 2007, Omara "Bombino" Moctar joined the fight with his guitar. Like the sinewy desert blues of Mali's Tinariwen, a band launched by an earlier generation of Tuareg rebels seeking self-determination, Bombino's reedy voice and lithe, incantatory guitar riffs added fuel to the Tuareg struggle. Guitars, alas, aren't much of a match for machine guns, and Bombino ended up fleeing for his life.
February 22, 2013 | By David S. Cloud and Kathleen Hennessey, Los Angeles Times
WASHINGTON - About 100 U.S. troops have deployed to the West African country of Niger to help establish a drone base for surveillance missions, in the latest step by the United States to aid French forces battling Islamic militants in neighboring Mali. In a letter to Congress on Friday, President Obama said the deployment would "provide support for intelligence collection and will also facilitate intelligence sharing with French forces conducting operations in Mali, and with other partners in the region.
September 7, 2011 | By Patrick J. McDonnell and Paul Richter, Los Angeles Times
More than a dozen high-ranking loyalists of Moammar Kadafi made a desert getaway into neighboring Niger, U.S. officials said Tuesday, but there was no indication that the former Libyan leader or his sons had escaped. "We're confident that Kadafi didn't get out," said Jalal Gallal, a spokesman for Libya's transitional government. News that as many as 250 vehicles carrying members of Kadafi's inner circle, including his security chief, had crossed Monday into Niger added a dramatic twist to the manhunt for the strongman who ruled Libya for more than four decades.
June 10, 2009 | Robyn Dixon
In Nigeria's oil-rich Niger River Delta, where Royal Dutch Shell has a tense relationship with communities, activists Tuesday welcomed the company's agreement to pay $15.5 million to settle a lawsuit that accused it of complicity in the 1995 executions of environmental and human rights advocates. But the activists saw it as a starting point, not the end of the struggle of the Ogoni people and other communities in the region for compensation over Shell's activities.
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