Niger opens Niamey campus after students shelve strike

The Niger government said on Wednesday it had reopened the country's largest university campus in Niamey, nearly a month after students began a strike following a violent confrontation with security forces.

Higher Education Minister Yahouza Sadissou said on local television the decision came after students on Monday lifted a strike that begun on April 20, two days after clashes over university conditions left several injured.

The strikers have been demanding the reinstatement of five classmates expelled on accusations they assaulted a professor, and payment of grants, which they say has been delayed for months.

Sadissou said as well as reopening Niamey, he had further ordered the reopening of regional universities closed after the strike was declared.

The USN student union said in posts to social media it had stopped its strike in order to "pursue negotiations" with the government.

Aside from the student unrest, the university in the capital was also paralysed by a month-long teachers' strike over the alleged February 7 assault.

The teachers' stoppage ended on March 17 after the five students were expelled.

Niger has more than 37 000 university students at eight establishments nationwide, with Niamey's 23 000 making it by far the largest.

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