Niger arrests 23 as tax protest turns violent

2018-03-27 08:30


Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Police in Niger have arrested 23 people after a demonstration against new taxes in one of the world's poorest nations turned violent, the interior minister said on Monday.

The arrests came after a protest on Sunday, Bazoum Mohamed told AFP, adding that the organisers had defied a ban and then clashed with the police.

"They incited (the public) and disrupted public order and were arrested for rebellion for describing the ban as illegal," he said.

A radio and television network owned by Ali Idrissa, one of four leading civil society members arrested, was also closed on Sunday.

"They aired live images of tyres burning on the streets ... asked people to take to the streets and carried a subversive message of revolt," the minister said. "They will remain closed until further notice."

Protests have been regularly held in Niger against the new taxes and concessions to telephone companies to the tune of $37m, according to the opposition.

More than 80% of Niger is covered by the Sahara desert. Its economy has been affected by falls in both oil prices, which it officially began exporting in 2011, and uranium, of which it is a major exporter.

KEEP UPDATED on the latest news from around the continent by subscribing to our FREE newsletter, Hello Africa.

FOLLOW News24 Africa on Twitter and Facebook. 

The government says it is cash strapped as it has to spend resources to combat attacks by Boko Haram, whose Islamist insurgency has spilled over from Nigeria, as well as from jihadists, including the Daesh group, near the border with Mali.

Finance Minister Hassoumi Massadou said in February that the 2018 budget hardly affected people in the countryside, where more than 80% of Niger's 20 million people live.

Read more on:    niger  |  west africa

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.