Elections begin in Niger

President Mahamadou Issoufou at a camp rally earlier this month Credit: Reuters

Niger began voting in an election on Sunday in which President Mahamadou Issoufou is running for a second term.

The 64-year-old incumbent is campaigning with the promise to crush Islamist militants and develop the economy in one of the world's poorest countries.

He goes head-to-head with other 14 candidates, some who claim Mr Issoufou used repression ahead of the vote.

They also accuse him of arresting rivals and jailing opposition leader Hama Amadou over charges related to a baby-trafficking ring.

Mr Issoufou's African government says it respects the law and calls the charges politically motivated.

Polls opened at 8am local time today.