Newspapers in Niger
The spread of newspapers in Niger is very small. French-speaking Le Sahel (edition: 5,000 copies), long the only daily newspaper, was a former government body but was published by the Office National Édition et de Presse (ONEP) in the 1990s. Since 1990, there have been a couple of opposition newspapers, including Haské and protuaregical Le Republic. After the 1996 military coup, however, the state’s control over the media has again tightened.
Office de Radiodiffusion-Télévision du Niger (ORTN) is the state broadcasting company, with La Voix du Sahel, which broadcasts radio in French, Hausa and local languages, and Télé-Sahel, which has daily TV broadcasts in a channel. There are also private radio stations. The ether media also has little distribution with 121 radio and 37 TV receivers per 1,000 residents (2000).
According to APARENTINGBLOG, Nigerian art is strongly influenced by Islamic culture but also by pre-Islamic traditions. Artistry is mainly expressed in various crafts such as ceramics, wickerwork, leatherwork, jewelery making and fabric making.
The visual arts are less widespread, but in this field the Tuareg Rissa Ixa is the most prominent artist. In the literature, the novelist Boubou Hama, the poet Abdoulaye Houdou and the playwrights André Salifou and Alfred Dogbe are noted.
Film art was one of Africa’s foremost in the late 1960s and 1970s, with directors such as Moustapha Alassane and Oumarou Ganda, but has since weakened.
Folk music differs between different parts of the country, but stringed instruments and drums are used everywhere. In the music played by the peasants hausa and songhai-djerma there is also lute and trumpet while flute is a common instrument in nomadic music. A popular musician is Harouna Goge. Among younger musicians are Tuaregen and guitarist Omara ‘Bombino’ Moctar.
Offensive against Boko Haram
The Nigerian Ministry of Defense reports to media that around 200 suspected members of Boko Haram have been killed in air strikes since the military launched an offensive in late 2018. Eighty-seven members of the extreme Islamist movement have been killed in ground fighting according to the army, which says no government soldiers have been killed.
Six soldiers are killed in attacks
Six soldiers are killed in a military post in southeastern Niger, near the border with Nigeria. The extremist movement Boko Haram takes on the blame for the act. At the same time, AU is holding a summit in Mauritania’s capital Nouakchott to discuss, among other things, free trade and corruption. A number of new acts of violence are taking over security issues. Shortly before the meeting, a suicide attack is directed at G5 Sahel’s headquarters in Mali. The G5 Sahel consists of Niger, Mali, Chad, Burkina Faso and Mauritania and was founded with French support in 2017 to fight jihadist rebels and criminal groups. However, there is no money for the project and many of the 5,000 G5 soldiers lack the necessary equipment.
Construction of US airbase begins
The first US air base in Niger for armed drones begins to be built outside Agadez. The US Air Force estimates that the base can be used in early 2019.
Prison for protest against raised taxes
Four leading opposition and about 20 other activists are jailed for rioting and for disturbing the general order in connection with demonstrations in the capital Niamey against increased taxes. The protesters do not have permission from the authorities.
Free Trade Agreement in Africa
Niger is one of 44 countries to sign a Free Trade Agreement at the African Union Summit in Rwanda. The agreement must be ratified at the national level before the AFCFTA free trade area can become a reality, but it is seen as a historically important step towards increased trade exchange within Africa.
Prison for coup attempt
Nine soldiers and one civilian are sentenced to prison for between 5 and 15 years for participation in an alleged coup attempt in December 2015. Among those sentenced to 15 years in prison is the former chief of staff, General Souleymane Salou, who played a key role when the military deposed in 2010 President Issoufou’s predecessor Mamadou Tandja.