Niger president meets student leaders in bid to end protests: radio

2017-04-16 15:57


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

Niamey - Niger's President Mahamadou Issoufou held talks with student leaders on Saturday in a bid to defuse the country's university crisis after a violent protest left one person dead, a student union head said.

"We met with the president and commitments were made to renew the dialogue between the USN (Union of Niger Scholars) and the government," Ousseini Sambo, USN secretary-general, said on public radio.

President Issoufou had ordered the University of Niamey campus to reopen on Monday, he added.

The campus has been closed since hundreds of unhappy students joined a demonstration on Monday, paralysing traffic by setting up barricades of tree trunks, blocks of stone and burning tyres, mainly on the right bank of the River Niger where the campus is located.

The protest sparked clashes with security forces who used tear gas to disperse protesters, who responded by throwing stones, according to images shown on local television.

According to official figures, 313 people were arrested following that protest, some of whom have since been released.

One protester died after a fall which was not linked to police action, authorities said. An enquiry has been opened into the death.

The USN insists that the death of Mala Bagale, a third-year Sociology student, was a result of having been hit by a police teargas cannister.

A total of 109 people were injured in the melee, 88 protesters and 21 police.

Sambo said another meeting, with Prime Minister Brigi Rafini, would take place "to find adequate solution to the students' demands".

The students are calling for better living and studying conditions and the payment of grants.

"We have promised the president a spirit of appeasement," said Sambo, adding that the students told that those still detained following Monday's violence would be released "in the coming days".

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.