News / Africa

African Union Desires Former Niger President's Freedom

Peace and Security Council Chairman Ramtane Lamamra says Mamadou Tandja should be freed on humanitarian and reconciliation reasons

President Mamadou Tandja of Niger
President Mamadou Tandja of Niger

Multimedia

Audio
  • AU Peace and Security Council chairman Lamamra spoke with Butty

James Butty

The African Union said it wants former Niger President Mamadou Tandja released from further detention.

The 71 year-old Tandja, who was overthrown in a February 18 coup d’état is being held in a presidential building in the capital, Niamey.

African Union Peace and Security Council Chairman Ramtane Lamamra said Mr. Tandja should be freed for humanitarian and reconciliation reasons.

“From the point of view of national reconciliation and the need for appeasement so that they (the military junta) can succeed in conducting a transition, we think that it would be appropriate of course for him as well as for other former leaders of the country to be released,” he said.

AU Peace and Security Council Chair Ramtane Lamamra
AU Peace and Security Council Chair Ramtane Lamamra

Lamamra said the African Union was not trying to impose any demand on Niger’s transitional government.

“We are not imposing anything on governments of our member states. My understanding is that there is no specific threat to the public order, to the security of the country. And therefore as part of the need to promote national reconciliation and to promote some sort of a new beginning for the country, the best way to move forward would be not to be returned back from consequences of the previous area,” he said.

Lamamra would not say whether the African Union would like to see former President Tandja sent in exile following his return. 

“It’s not for me or the AU to determine. I think this is a country (Niger) which has shown to know that in knows how to face bigger challenges regarding the domestic situation and the regional environment,” he said.

The military junta has named a cabinet and promised a short transition period. But it has not said when it hopes to return Niger to constitutional rule.

Lamamra said the African Union welcomes the number of positive commitments made so far by the military junta, including the decision not to stand for election and the promise to fully address the root causes of the crisis in Niger.

However, he said the African Union intends to enforce its policy of non-constitutional change of government.

“Due notice has to be taken of the fact that the African Union doctrine stipulates that the timeframe for restoring constitutional order should not exceed six months,” Lamamra said.

You May Like

In China, Mixed Signals on Ebola Controls

How authorities are monitoring at-risk individuals remains unclear, including whether there are quarantines for Chinese health workers returning from West Africa More

Video Women Voters Anxious Ahead of US Elections

Analysts say if women are focused on national security, it could be bad news for Democrats More

Solar's Future Looks Brighter

New technology and dropping prices are contributing to a surge in solar power More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Women Voters Anxious Ahead of US Electionsi
X
October 31, 2014 4:10 AM
Public opinion polls show American voters are deeply dissatisfied with their government and anxious about threats from abroad. This is especially true for a key voting group both Republicans and Democrats are trying hard to win over: women. Analysts say if women are focused on national security, it could be bad news for Democrats, with majority control of the Senate at stake. VOA’s Cindy Saine looks at the crucial role women voters will play in deciding the elections.
Video

Video Women Voters Anxious Ahead of US Elections

Public opinion polls show American voters are deeply dissatisfied with their government and anxious about threats from abroad. This is especially true for a key voting group both Republicans and Democrats are trying hard to win over: women. Analysts say if women are focused on national security, it could be bad news for Democrats, with majority control of the Senate at stake. VOA’s Cindy Saine looks at the crucial role women voters will play in deciding the elections.
Video

Video Victorious Secularists Face Challenge to Form Government in Tunisia

Official results from Tunisia show the Islamist Ennahda party has failed to win the second free election since the so-called "Arab Spring" uprising in 2011. Ennahda, which handed power to a government of technocrats pending the elections, lost out to the secular party Nidaa Tounes. Henry Ridgwell reports from London that the relatively peaceful poll offers some hope in a volatile region.
Video

Video Africa Tells its Story Through Fashion

In Africa, Fashion Week is a riot of colors, shapes, patterns and fabrics - against the backdrop of its ongoing struggle between nature and its fast-growing urban edge. How do these ideas translate into needle and thread? VOA’s Anita Powell visited this year’s Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Africa in Johannesburg to find out.
Video

Video Smugglers Offer Cheap Passage From Turkey to Syria

Smugglers in Turkey offer a relatively cheap passage across the border into Syria. Ankara has stepped up efforts to stem the flow of foreign fighters who want to join Islamic State militants fighting for control of the Syrian border city of Kobani. But porous borders and border guards who can be bribed make illegal border crossings quite easy. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.

All About America

AppleAndroid