Twenty held after Niger student protests

Comment on this story
IOL pic apr15 handcuff close-up File picture:

Niamey - At least a dozen students were injured and around 20 others arrested when hundreds of students, angered by delays in payment of living stipends, clashed with police in Niger's capital Niamey late on Tuesday, health and police officials said.

Police fired teargas and used truncheons to disperse the University of Niamey students after they attacked the government agency responsible for disbursing the stipends.

“We receive social assistance that the (agency) pays to us. It only lacked the signature of the director,” Anifa Arzika, a spokesman for the students, told journalists. “He persisted in delaying things, which provoked the students' anger.”

Local residents said the students ransacked the agency's offices then damaged nearby cars and motorcycles, before throwing rocks at police who arrived to disperse them.

A police source, who asked not to be named as he was not authorised to speak to the press, told Reuters that about 20 students were taken into custody.

The students then erected barricades and burned tyres on the city's streets. Clashes were continuing in areas near the university campus at around 20h30 GMT.

Health officials at two hospitals contacted by Reuters said around a dozen students had been treated for injuries sustained in the clashes.

Niger, the fourth-largest uranium producer, is also one of Africa's newest oil producers but remains but remains one of the world's poorest countries. - Reuters

sign up

Comment Guidelines

  1. Please read our comment guidelines.
  2. Login and register, if you haven’ t already.
  3. Write your comment in the block below and click (Post As)
  4. Has a comment offended you? Hover your mouse over the comment and wait until a small triangle appears on the right-hand side. Click triangle () and select "Flag as inappropriate". Our moderators will take action if need be.

  5. Verified email addresses: All users on Independent Media news sites are now required to have a verified email address before being allowed to comment on articles. You are only required to verify your email address once to have full access to commenting on articles. For more information please read our comment guidelines