Niger is holding a referendum to decide on President Mamadou Tandja's divisive plan to change the constitution and run for a third term in office.
Markets are closed and the day has been declared a public holiday – but kola nut vendors outside this polling station in Niamey hoped for business.
The BBC's Idy Baraou in Niamey says there is a heavy security presence in the capital, with troops and police on every street corner. Soldiers voted earlier on Monday, so that they could be on duty on referendum day.
Our reporter says the city has been quiet with only small groups of people voting. Opposition groups are urging voters to boycott the poll and the EU and UN have expressed concern at Mr Tandja's plans.
At a school polling station, a boy cleaned the blackboards with his hand while officials waited for voters. The president dissolved both parliament and the constitutional court to push through the referendum.
Security forces have fired tear gas at opposition supporters in their northern stronghold of Illela and some have also been arrested in Dosso in the east, after being accused of trying to disrupt the poll.
The day before the referendum, a rice farmer outside Niamey prepared his fields for sowing. Niger is one of the poorest countries in the world.
Mr Tandja’s backers say he has boosted living standards and needs more time to complete projects such as a uranium mine, an oil refinery and a dam on the River Niger, where this fisherman cast his net a few days ago.
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