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2.6 million people face food crisis in Niger: rights group

by Staff Writers
Niamey (AFP) Oct 14, 2009
Some 2.6 million people could face a food crisis in Niger this year following insufficient rain, the Niger Association for the defence of human rights said on Wednesday.

"The irregularity and poor distribution of rain could create a serious shortage in cereal production in several regions accounting for a population of 2,663,900 inhabitants", the ANDDH, the most important non-governmental organisation in the country, warned in a statement.

Five of the country's eight regions, including Tahoua, Tillaberi and Dosso in the west, Zinder and Maradi in central south are to be affected by the crisis, it said.

"We are raising an alert, it is left for the government to think of how to manage the imminent crisis," Badie Hima, ANDDH's vice president, said in an interview with private radio Saraounia.

Two months ago, the president of the organisation of Niger farmers, Djibo Bagna, expressed concern over the lateness of rain, which aborted the planting of the first cereal seedlings in several regions.

The government is yet to react to these warnings, which bring back to memory the crisis of 2005, when some 3.2 million people in Niger suffered food shortages following drought and cricket invasion.

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Guinea junta must step aside: contact group
Abuja (AFP) Oct 13, 2009
The junta in Guinea should step down and make way for a new transitional body after the army massacred dozens of opposition protestors, regional and international groups said on Tuesday. The International Contact Group on Guinea "has called for a new transitional authority in Guinea" which should be "based on the withdrawal" of the 10-month-old ruling junta, it said in a statement. ... read more

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