The streets of Niger’s capital, Niamey were temporarily taken over by several thousand young people on Tuesday who were commemorating the death of three young people killed by police in February 1990.
Alio Nahanchi, Issaka Kaina and Mamane Abdou Saguir died while demanding the improvement of their living conditions, education and democracy.
“Twenty-six years later, the conditions of pupils, students and the people have not changed. We urge the Niger people to elect the right man in the right place. We call on leaders that are elected to create the conditions so that our resources are exploited for the benefit of our people,” said Sumana Houseini Sambo, Secretary General of the Union of Niger students.
The march, which is held annually, took place without incident and without visible police presence.
“It is important to mark this event each year to show that we remember them. Especially this year with the election. I was not born when it happened, but they defended the students,” said Zakouma Amadoun a youth who participated in the commemoration.
The event, held five days before Sunday’s presidential elections, ended with tributes at the cemeteries of the deceased in the capital.
Niger, a country of 18 million people whose average age is 15 years, is considered the poorest nation on the planet.
Nearly 7.5 million voters will choose between 15 candidates during the February 21 presidential election.