Violent clashes between students and security forces broke out at the University of Niamey on Wednesday, April 18. The students were protesting to demand the reinstatement of five classmates who were expelled in mid-March. Several students were injured, some of them seriously, during the clashes. Further such violence is possible on the campus in the coming days. It remains unclear if classes, which had resumed on April 16 following two month-long strikes, will again be suspended. According to a student union spokesperson, the strike had been suspended to allow for negotiations with the government; however, it will likely resume if talks prove unsuccessful.
Niger frequently experiences violent demonstrations. Both large and small protests occur regularly, often near government buildings, university campuses, or public parks. Many demonstrations have involved rock throwing and tire burning, especially at key intersections in Niamey.
Professors at the University of Niamey launched an indefinite strike on February 20 in protest of an assault on several professors by members of the CASO (Commission des Affaires sociales et de l'Ordre) campus security force, which is composed of university students. Teachers ended their strike on March 17 after the five perpetrators were expelled from the school. This strike was then followed by a student strike called for to denounce the dismissal of the five students, as well as to demand the payment of student scholarships.
Individuals in Niamey are advised to avoid all protests due to the risk of violence and adhere to any instructions issued by the local authorities.
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