The flag of the United Nations flies above the crowds at a folk-dancing and sports festival, part of independence celebrations in Enugu, in southeastern Niger. (Photo: Archive Photos/Getty Images)
Niger proclaimed its independence from France on Aug. 3, 1960. Upon independence, the leader of the Niger Progressive Party, Hamani Diori, became the country’s first president, ruling for 14 years. Before Niger was annexed by France at the end of the nineteenth century, the region was part of the Islamic Fulani Empire.
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