A big rally to back President Issoufou has done little to dispel dissatisfaction with living conditions and corruption
He was feted as a reformer after winning the 2011 election that reversed the 2010 coup and seen as a beacon of stability during the Mali crisis (AC Vol 51 No 6, Confusion after the coup& Vol 54 No 22, Ransom? Moi?). Yet now, President Mahamadou Issoufou is looking increasingly insecure amid political tension. He is also struggling to get the French uranium-mining giant, Areva, to increase its royalty payments after its contract expired last December. Police say 18,000 people attended the 8 February rally in Niamey, organised by a coalition of pro-presidential parties. The meeting was a response to December's mass demonstrations, the first against Issoufou since he came to power.
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