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Old 24 Aug 2009
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Niger - politics and travel

Struggling to find any news on the referendum and the forthcoming presidential elections in Niger - there's almost nothing on the internet apart from some general information like this:

AFP - "The electoral campaign in the crisis-hit country will last from September 28 to October 18... but the opposition had already indicated it would boycott the elections and called for nationwide demonstrations Saturday.

(president) Tandja had (on Aug 18) promulgated a new constitution which will allow him to stand for re-election and then seek unlimited mandates after a highly controversial referendum held on August 4."

The MNJ site has been silent since early June. I read on a news site that there's a split in the MNJ, but no details are given.

There's almost no coverage of the recent referendum and the following unrest in the streets of Niamey, and it seems there are no foreign journalists left in Niger.

There is also no recent news - I found none - regarding the rebellion. Is anything happening in the north at all now?

The outcome of the referendum and the elections might seriously affect travelling in Niger in the observed future. I am wondering if anyone has any first-hand or otherwise reliable news on the political/travel situation, especially in the north of the country. Anyone crossed the border at Assamaka lately? What's the convoy situation like? Are Niger visas being issued at all? Who is 'opposition' now if the MNJ has split up?
http://famous-walker.livejournal.com - in Russian but with lots of photos
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Old 25 Aug 2009
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Niger - politics and travel

Always a good idea to keep an eye on the BBC - the BBC world news, Africa, has had an update and background info. The elections will be on October 20.
Nobody has been travelling the border in the peak of summer heat, hence no reports here, presumably.
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Old 26 Aug 2009
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Niger been through in April,

but south, coming from Malanville, Benin going to Gao, Mali. Visa Entente in Togo Embassy in Ghana. Border all was friendly. The convoy to Agadez then has just stopped again. Very very hot indead in summer. sry all the info I have.
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Old 26 Aug 2009
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The BBC is not of much help I am afraid. Their coverage is poor and sometimes completely misleading. In a piece on the bbc website of Aug 4 called 'Crunch time for Niger president' there is an audio track where the reporter talks about Nigeria instead of Niger for some reason. And in another piece they mention the 'opposition groups' without giving any names or details. There is a mention of an opposition group FUSAD in yet another piece, and I could find little on FUSAD elsewhere.

More importantly, those reports do not give a picture of what's actually happening in the country, especially in the northern region which is of the greatest interest to the readers of this forum. What's been happening lately in the Touareg north? Is the rebellion still going on? Where is MNJ standing now, and what was their reaction to the referendum and the power struggle in the south? How does that affect life in places like Agadez or Arlit? Say, Manfred mentions the convoys stopped in spring - does that mean there's now free travelling in the north?
http://famous-walker.livejournal.com - in Russian but with lots of photos
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Old 26 Aug 2009
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Niger Travel

Hi! Last week I got word from yves at Tanezrouft that he had heard that the border between Algeria and Niger is open. He did say that it could change at any time, though.

I'll be travelling south from Algeria to Niger, starting in Oran around 10 Nov 09 - anyone who wants to come along on own motorcycle?

One ball One continent
"The fates lead him who will; him who won't they drag." - Anon
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Old 3 Sep 2009
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Some new news from Niger

The site of MNJ has resumed working a couple of days ago with a message that the movement's leader Mr Aghali Alambo has been dismissed. Reasons explained in the statement, on m-n-j.blogspot.com. Which leads back to the same question: if there's still a rebellion going on in the north of Niger, what is its main driving force? And what's their stand on the current events in Niamey?

In the meantime, something is about to happen in Niamey. The West African bloc ECOWAS has announced an extraordinary summit to address the crisis in Niger. The government of Niger and its president Tanja might face sanctions from neighbours if Niger's constitution continues to be violated. (source: BBC).

Once again, projecting that on the situation with travelling in Niger in the near future - doesn't look too good. If neighbours close borders (like they've done in too many a north African country) that might mean one less beautiful corner of the Sahara for all of us.
http://famous-walker.livejournal.com - in Russian but with lots of photos
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