The Republic of Niger is the largest country in West Africa, named after the Niger River. Over 80 percent of its land is covered by the Sahara Desert.
The former French colony acquired its freedom in 1960 and is still one of the world's poorest countries. It was ranked last at 187th in the United Nations' Human Development Index in 2013.
Security forces attack the camp at the center of Sudan’s protest movement, opening fire and torching tents+++Police in Northern Ghana’s border to Burkina Faso arrest a Burkinabe man with a loaded handgun during a Church service+++The World health Organization introduces a program to tackle the issue of snakebites that kill tens of thousands of people every year.
Boosting counter-terrorism support for countries in West Africa has become one of Angela Merkel's main priorities on the continent. The chancellor has now pledged millions to improve security in the Sahel region.