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Coup in Niger

  • 08 Aug 2023
  • 3 min read

Source: TH

Why in News?

Niger is currently in the midst of a political upheaval as a military coup has taken control, ousting the democratically elected President.

  • The Sahel region, home to Niger, Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania, and Senegal, has witnessed political instability and ethnic tensions.
    • Weak governance, corruption, and ethnic clashes led to military interventions under the pretext of restoring stability.

What are the Key Points About Niger?

  • Geography:
    • Niger is a landlocked country located in West Africa, bordered by Algeria, Libya, Chad, Nigeria, Benin, Burkina Faso, and Mali.
    • Niger has more than 80% of its land area lying in the Sahara Desert.
      • Niger takes its name from the Niger River, which flows through the southwestern part of its territory
    • It is the largest country in West Africa and roughly twice the size of France.
      • Capital city: Niamey. 
  • Historical Context:
    • Niger was a French colony until it gained independence in 1960.
    • The country experienced a series of military coups and political instability in the decades following independence.
  • Climate: Desert, mostly hot, dry, dusty, tropical in extreme south.
  • Economy: Niger is one of the world's poorest countries and faces challenges related to poverty, food security, and underdevelopment.
    • However, it has significant natural resources, including gold mining reserves and a significant share of global uranium production.
    • The economy is largely agrarian, with a focus on subsistence farming and livestock.
  • Ethnic Groups: Hausa, Zarma-Songhai, Tuareg, Fulani, Kanuri, Arab, Toubou.
  • Official Language: French language is recognized as the official language of Niger.

UPSC Civil Services Examination, Previous Year Question:

Q. In the recent years Chad, Guinea, Mali and Sudan caught international attention for which one of the following reasons is common to all of them? (2023)

(a) Discovery of rich deposits of rare earth elements
(b) Establishment of Chinese military bases
(c) Southward expansion of Sahara Desert
(d) Successful coups

Ans: (d)

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