A hungry soldier is scarier than a terrorist

A coup nearly in the small African country of Niger: the soldiers of the capital, Niamey, attempted to overthrow Nigerien President Mamadou Tandja

According to eyewitnesses, the sound of automatic fire could be heard in the streets of the capital for two hours. However, the government's troops managed to suppress the mutiny. Nothing has been reported about the number of victims.

Military mutinies started in Niger more than a week ago in the remote desert town of Diffa. The soldiers were not happy with their payment delays and bad living conditions. The latest news says that law and order has already been established in in Diffa, but the rebels fighting in two other settlements to the south of the town.

It seems that the conflict in Niger has not attracted much attention. Coups happen rather often in Africa, and Niger is one of the poorest countries of the world. The first democratic elections took place in Niger in 1999; military coups replaced elections in Niger in the past, until the country obtained independence from France in 1960.

Regular military coup d'etats and never-ending variants of the constitution have formed a peculiar spirit of xenophobia in the Niger. Today, Niger is one of the most closed African countries. The level of education in the country is one of the lowest in the entire world, the people are struck with many illnesses, and the healthcare system is of a rudimentary character.

Nevertheless, Niger has a very important strategic purpose. This country is between North (Arab) and Black Africa; it is like a link between the two parts of the continent. The development of commercial and political links between the north and south of Africa depends on the stability in this small country.

Vasily Bubnov PRAVDA.Ru

Translated by Dmitry Sudakov

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