Niger. According to
Countryaah, businessman Aboubacar Sanda was dismissed by the
government after 20 years as one of N's most important
traditional leaders, the Sultan of Zinder. He was charged
with a number of serious crimes such as coup preparations,
murders, weapons trafficking, money laundering and drug
To the new hunger, the government appointed a former
policeman, Mamadou Moustapha. The sultan title gives
significant influence as a local religious head.
The economic crisis worsened with the closure of the
border with Nigeria from April 1984 to March 1986, which
hindered the movement of cattle and food trucks. The border
closure decision came from Nigeria, who wanted to make a
currency adjustment. In 1985, however, fuel was exempted
from the closure.
The situation did not improve in 1985: the price of
uranium fell 4% and 400,000 tonnes of grain was missing to
meet the country's needs; foreign debt continued to rise,
and rising interest and repayment payments demanded ever
greater volumes of currency.
In 1986, the government tried to change its policy. But
that same year, General Kuntché suffered a brain
haemorrhage, and died 11 months later at a military hospital
in Paris. The Supreme Military Council appointed Ali Seibou
as successor. Some of his first moves were the appointment
of 10 new ministers, and the declaration of an amnesty that
allowed the exiles to return. Thus, the exiles Djibo Bakari
and Hamani Diori became part of political life again.
However, Diori died in Morocco in April 1989.
In 1988, Seibou faced an action in which 3,000 students
for 22 days refused to participate in the education,
eventually meeting their demands.
On August 2, 1988, the unitary party "The National
Movement for the Development Society" was formed, while a
"National Development Council" prepared a new constitution.
It was put to the referendum and approved in 1989, and in
December of that year, Seibou was elected President of the
Republic by universal suffrage, in the first elections held
since independence in 1960.
The drought in the Sahel region led the government to pay
special attention to agricultural production and the rural
population, which accounted for 80% of the population. In
the period 1980-90, 32% of the state budget went to
agricultural development. An important factor in this
process was that 98% of housewives used firewood for
cooking. Coupled with the persistent deforestation and
recurring drought, the nearly single-use use of the fire as
a public energy source created worrying environmental
prospects. In response, the government worked on the
installation of solar panels and wind energy, promoted the
development of electricity supply and the production of
economical stoves with less energy consumption. In order to
limit the high consumption of firewood, the government
intended to double the tax on logging.
As newly elected president, Seibou benefited from a
short-term favorable development in the economy resulting
from a surplus of 200,000 tonnes of grain in 1989. Ali
Seibou wanted to unify his project on a single party that
would be able to summarize the various trends that existed
in the country, with its promises of real democratization.
Throughout 1990, political opposition among both workers and
students proved very active. In addition to demands for pay
and education reform, the demand for a multi-party system
came to light through major strikes and demonstrations that
met harsh police repression.
In 1990, the country's agricultural production fell by
over 70%. The population grew by 3% a year, but food
production grew by almost 1% - despite a doubling of the
cultivated area. Soil resources are depleted and fertility
has been lost due to lack of phosphorus and nitrogen.
The government launched a structural adjustment program
imposed by the IMF, which included two years of freeze pay
for public servants. In response, workers and peasants
conducted new strikes and demonstrations. Towards the end of
1990, Seibou publicly undertook the obligation to lead the
country towards a democratic system of acceptance of the
existence of several political parties, and created the
purpose of the "National Conference" with the task of
regulating political change.