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Urban Commune
Diffa is located in Niger
Location in Niger
Coordinates: 13°18′53″N 12°37′4″E / 13.31472°N 12.61778°E / 13.31472; 12.61778
Country Niger
RegionDiffa Region
DepartmentDiffa Department
Urban CommuneDiffa
938 ft (285 m)
 • Total48,005
Time zoneUTC+1 (WAT)

Diffa is a city and Urban Commune in the extreme southeast of Niger, near that country's border with Nigeria. It is the administrative seat of both Diffa Region, and the smaller Diffa Department. As of 2011, the commune had a total population of 48,005 people.[2]

Diffa marks the eastern end of the paved section of Route Nationale 1, the main east west highway across Niger, although the section between Zinder and Diffa is only partially paved in places. RN 1 continues north to N'guigmi more than 100 km. Maïné-Soroa, the other major town of the Region, lies less than 100 km to the west of Diffa. The border with Nigeria, at the Nigerian town of Duji, is 5.5 km to the south of Diffa. Diffa Airport lies to the north of the town.[3][4]

Stade de Diffa

2002 Army Mutiny[edit]

In 2002, it was the centre of the first military uprising in the country since President Tandja Mamadou instituted civilian rule and led to a crackdown by the government against the civilian press.[5][6][7]

Nigerian refugees[edit]

Refugees from Nigeria fleeing violence from Boko Haram have crossed the border, and are living with local populations in Diffa and surrounding areas. As of 11 June 2014, the nearby "village of Guessere's population has doubled. Its new residents all come from a Nigerian village located 3 kilometers from the border." These refugees hid after an attack, and crossed a river to escape. The government of Niger has provided shelter, food and materials to refugees, especially people from Damasak who were kept at gagamari.[8] In early October, 2,200 more people arrived from the Nigerian village of Gueshkar. In the first ten months of 2014, "over 62,000 people" fled to the Diffa region to escape fighting in Nigeria.[9]


  1. ^ Population figures from citypopulation.de, citing (2001) Institut National de la Statistique du Niger.
  2. ^ "Annuaires_Statistiques" (PDF). Institut National de la Statistique du Niger. Retrieved 2 May 2013.
  3. ^ Decalo, Samuel (1997). Historical Dictionary of the Niger (3rd ed.). Boston & Folkestone: Scarecrow Press. ISBN 0-8108-3136-8.:p. 120
  4. ^ Geels, Jolijn (2006). Niger. Chalfont St Peter, Bucks / Guilford, CT: Bradt UK / Globe Pequot Press. ISBN 978-1-84162-152-4.:pp.227–231
  5. ^ NIGER: Army mutineers free civilian hostages. 2 August 2002 (IRIN)
  6. ^ Attacks on the Press 2002: Niger. Committee to Protect Journalists. 31 March 2003
  7. ^ Niger's Army Pursuing Mutinous Soldiers. Voice of America. 1 August 2002
  8. ^ Damon, Arwa (11 June 2014). "Where are Nigeria's missing girls? On the hunt for Boko Haram". CNN.com. Retrieved 12 June 2014.
  9. ^ "Nigeria: UN Refugee Agency Reports Growing Number of Refugees As Nigeria Insurgency Continues". allAfrica.com – UN News service. 17 October 2014. Retrieved 21 October 2014.

Coordinates: 13°18′53″N 12°37′4″E / 13.31472°N 12.61778°E / 13.31472; 12.61778