Diffa Region

Last updated
Diffa in Niger.svg
Location within Niger
Coordinates: 14°N13°E / 14°N 13°E / 14; 13 Coordinates: 14°N13°E / 14°N 13°E / 14; 13
CountryFlag of Niger.svg  Niger
Capital Diffa
  Total156,906 km2 (60,582 sq mi)
 (2012 [1] )
  Density3.8/km2 (9.8/sq mi)
Time zone UTC+1 (West Africa Time)
HDI (2017)0.336 [2]

Diffa is one of the seven Regions of Niger, located in the southeast of the country. The capital of the region is Diffa.



Diffa Region is situated in the extreme southeast of Niger between 10° 30’ and 15° 35’ longitude East and 13° 04’ and 18° 00’ latitude North. It covers 156 906 km², and it borders Agadez Region to the north, Chad to the east, Nigeria to the south, and Zinder Region to the west. The landscape is primarily Sahelian in the south, merging into the Sahara desert in the north of the region. In the far southeast can be found Niger's portion of Lake Chad; formerly extending as far west as N'guigmi, the lake has shrunk drastically in recent decades. [3] In the southeast the Komadougou Yobe river forms part of the border with Nigeria. [3]


Diffa is the regional capital; other major settlements include Bosso, Chetimari, Dungass, Gueskerou, Goudoumaria, Kablewa, Mainé-Soroa, N'Gourti, N'Guelbély, N'guigmi and Toumour. [4]

Administrative subdivisions

Departments of Diffa Diffa Arrondissements.png
Departments of Diffa

Diffa Region is divided into three Departments:

The Region also includes three Urban Communes, a number of Rural Communes, four Cantons, and over twenty Groupments (administrative councils of nomadic communities). The Urban Communes are Diffa, Maïné-Soroa, N'guigmi; while the Rural Communes include Bosso, Chétimari, Goudoumaria, N'gourti, Kabléwa, Nguel beyli, and Gueskérou.


The population was estimated in 2000 at 216,245 and 346,595 inhabitants in the 2001 census; as of 2011 the population stood at 489,531. [1] The population is 85% sedentary and 15% nomadic, practising seasonal migration with their livestock. The age range is 37% aged less than 20, 57% between 20 – 60, and 6% older than 60 years old.[ citation needed ] The total annual growth rate is around 1.2% and it is one of the least populated areas of Niger ( 2.2 people/km²).[ citation needed ] The main ethnolinguistic groups in the region are the Diffa Arabs, Fula, Hausa, Kanuri, Dazaga and Tedaga Toubou and Tuaregs. [5] [6]

Historical population
source: [7]


Refugees from Nigeria fleeing violence from Boko Haram are living with local populations in the Diffa Region. As of 11 June 11, 2014, the International Rescue Committee (IRC) estimated that as many as 1,000 refugees a week were crossing the border into Diffa region; four out of five are women and girls. [8] By October 2015 the number of Nigerian refugees in the region had risen to at least 150,000. [9] After a lull in the fighting in 2017-18, violence increased in 2019, further worsening an already fragile security situation. [10]


Landscape of rural Diffa Region, Niger, traveling on the main highway from Diffa to Niamey. (2006) Landscape Diffa region Niger.jpg
Landscape of rural Diffa Region, Niger, traveling on the main highway from Diffa to Niamey. (2006)

The economy of Diffa Region is primarily agricultural, based upon pastoralism and farming. The major crop, grown both for subsistence and sale, is millet, especially drought-tolerant varieties. One third of arable land is devoted to farming: almost 105,000 hectares farmed of the 299,500 hectares of arable land. Areas of the east and south also grow rice and maize. Irrigation in the valleys around Maïné-Soroa make this possible, as does the edge of Lake Chad (3,000 km² in the far east) and the seasonal Komadougou Yobe river valley in the south, which forms around 150 km of the border with Nigeria. Despite this the Diffa Region is among the most unproductive agricultural areas in Niger, and all of West Africa, making it especially vulnerable to drought and famine.

See also

Related Research Articles

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Niger's transport system was little developed during the colonial period (1899–1960), relying upon animal transport, human transport, and limited river transport in the far south west and south east. No railways were constructed in the colonial period, and roads outside the capital remained unpaved. The Niger River is unsuitable for large-scale river transport, as it lacks depth for most of the year and is broken by rapids at many spots. Camel caravan transport was historically important in the Sahara desert and Sahel regions which cover most of the north.

Diffa Urban Commune in Diffa Region, Niger

Diffa is a city and Urban Commune in the extreme southeast of Niger, near the 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.

Departments of Niger

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Nguigmi Place in Diffa Region, Niger

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Dosso Region Region of Niger

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Zinder Region Region of Niger

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Yobe State State of Nigeria

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Maradi Region Region of Niger

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Yobe River

The Yobe River, also known as the Komadougou Yobe or the Komadougou-Yobe, is a river in West Africa that flows into Lake Chad through Nigeria and Niger. Its tributaries include the Hadejia River, the Jama'are River, and the Komadugu Gana River. The river forms a small part of the international border between Niger and Nigeria. :)

Goure Place in Zinder, Niger

Goure is a town in southeastern Niger, Zinder Region, Goure Department, of which it is the seat.

Goudoumaria Place in Diffa, Niger

Goudoumaria, Niger is a town in the southeast of the country, in Diffa Region, northwest of Diffa. Goudoumaria is an administrative post in the Maine-Soroa Department, and is approx. 50 km north of the Nigerian border and approximately 50 km east of the small city Soubdou.

Termit Massif

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Boko Haram Jihadist terrorist organization

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Timeline of the Boko Haram insurgency is the chronology of the Boko Haram insurgency, an ongoing armed conflict between Nigerian Islamist group Boko Haram and the Nigerian government. Boko Haram have carried out many attacks against the military, police and civilians since 2009 – mostly in Nigeria, but also in Cameroon, Chad and Niger.

Nigerian refugees are persons originating from the country of Nigeria, but seeking refuge outside the borders of their native country.

2015 Niger raid

The 2015 Niger raid was an unsuccessful assault on the Nigerien towns Bosso and Diffa, perpetrated by Boko Haram. The incident occurred on 6 February 2015, marking the first major Boko Haram incursion into Niger.

Chad Basin campaign (2018–2020)

The Chad Basin campaign of 2018–2020 was a series of battles and offensives in the southern Chad Basin, particularly northeastern Nigeria, which took place amid the ongoing Boko Haram insurgency. The Chad Basin witnessed an upsurge of insurgent activity from early November 2018, as rebels belonging to the Islamic State's West Africa Province (ISWAP) and Boko Haram launched offensives and several raids to regain military strength and seize territory in a renewed attempt to establish an Islamic state in the region. These attacks, especially those by ISWAP, met with considerable success and resulted in the displacement of hundreds of thousands of civilians. The member states of the Multinational Joint Task Force (MJTF), namely Nigeria, Niger, Chad, and Cameroon responded to the increased insurgent activity with counter-offensives. These operations repulsed the rebels in many areas, but failed to fully contain the insurgency.

Chad–Niger border

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Niger–Nigeria border

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  1. 1 2 Annuaire statistique du Niger
  2. "Sub-national HDI - Area Database - Global Data Lab". hdi.globaldatalab.org. Retrieved 2018-09-13.
  3. 1 2 Geels, Jolijn, (2006) Bradt Travel Guide - Niger, pgs. 227-38
  4. "Carte de référence: Niger - Région de Diffa (30 janvier 2019)" (PDF). REACH Initiative. Retrieved 24 October 2019.
  5. Présentation de la région de Diffa: des potentialités naturelles considérables. Abdou Saïdou, Le Sahel (Niamey). 17 December 2009
  6. "Languages of Niger". Ethnologue . Retrieved 24 October 2019.
  7. Niger: Administrative Division population statistics
  8. Damon, Arwa (2014-06-11). "Where are Nigeria's missing girls? On the hunt for Boko Haram". CNN.com. Retrieved 2014-06-12.
  9. "Boko Haram fighters kill two Niger soldiers, wound four in ambush". Reuters. 2 October 2015. Retrieved 8 October 2015.
  10. "ACAPS Briefing Note: Niger - Displacement in Diffa region (5 April 2019)". Relief Web. 5 April 2019. Retrieved 24 October 2019.