The famine that hit the country, one of the world's poorest, destabilised the government. As a result, in spring 2005, journalists taking part in the widespread public demonstrations, fell foul of the law and were imprisoned, in a country that is however relatively stable in terms of press freedom. However the frequent promises to decriminalise press offences made by President Mamadou Tanja, but never kept, look more and more like election slogans.


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