Zinder (zĭnˈdər) [key], city (1988 pop. 120,892), S Niger. It is the trade center for an agricultural region where grains, manioc, and peanuts are grown, and cattle and sheep are raised. Manufactures include millet flour, beverages, and tanned goods. Zinder was situated on an old trans-Saharan caravan route that connected N Nigeria with the African coast as early as the 11th cent. The walled town was the capital of a Muslim state controlled by Bornu from the 16th to the mid-19th cent. Zinder was conquered by the French in 1899 and during World War I was the scene of an unsuccessful Tuareg uprising against French control. The town grew after 1920, when nomads began settling there in large numbers, and from 1922 to 1926 it served as the capital of the French Niger colony. Parts of the old city wall and the 19th-century palace of the ruler of Zinder still stand.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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