A Nigerian soldier stands between the 24 armored vehicles donated by the United States to the Nigerian military at the Nigerian Army 9th Brigade Parade Ground in Lagos on January 7, 2016. AFP / STEFAN HEUNIS
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Niger's constitutional court on Saturday approved 15 candidates for a presidential vote next month, including key opponent Hama Amadou, who was imprisoned two months ago upon return from a year-long exile.The constitutional court's ruling is likely to increase pressure on Niger's government to free Amadou, seen as one of three leading contenders in the Feb. 21 battle for leadership of the impoverished, uranium-producing West African country.Issoufou and former prime minister Seyni Oumarou, the candidate of the main opposition party, were also authorized to stand in the February vote.
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