News / Africa

Niger Activist Calls for More Empowerment of African Civil Society Groups

Marou Amadou says only through citizen mobilization can freedom, democracy and transparency be attained and sustained in Africa

Colonel Gokoye Abdul Karimou, spokesman for the Niger millitary junta delivering a televised statement in Niamey, 19 Feb 2010
Colonel Gokoye Abdul Karimou, spokesman for the Niger millitary junta delivering a televised statement in Niamey, 19 Feb 2010
James Butty

A Niger civil society leader is calling on other civil society groups throughout Africa to stand up in defense of democracy and the rule of law.

Marou Amadou, president of the United Front for the Safeguard of Democratic Gains in Niger was arrested and jailed several times during Niger’s civil society activism against attempts by President Mamadou Tandja to prolong himself in power.

He said civil society groups and citizens around Africa should stand up against dictatorships even if it means they would be killed.

“We have, as Africans, to believe in democracy; to have tireless struggle for the establishment of freedom in all parts of Africa. We cannot accept dictatorship and poverty and fatalities in our continent. If in some parts of Africa dictatorship can establish, we, Nigeriens will not accept it even if we will be killed,” he said.

Amadou said only through the mobilization of citizens all over Africa can freedom, democracy and transparency be attained on the African continent.

He said some of the reasons for coup d’états in Africa have been corruption, injustice and irresponsibility on the part of the political elites.

The army overthrew President Mamadou Tandja in a military coup last week. Mr. Tandja had grown increasingly unpopular since expanding his power and giving himself another three years in office through a controversial referendum last August.

Former Niger President Mamadou Tandja
Former Niger President Mamadou Tandja

The new military leaders said over the weekend they will hold elections but have not yet set a date.

Coup leader Squadron Chief Salou Djibo is promising to set up a consultative council for decision-making.

Diplomats from the United Nations, the African Union, and the Economic Community of West African States arrived in Niamey over the weekend for meetings with Niger's new military rulers and political leaders on how best to return to constitutional rule.

Amadou called on Niger’s new military leaders to organize free and fair elections as soon as possible.

Some ECOWAS leaders with ECOWAS President Mohamed Ibn Chambas
Some ECOWAS leaders with ECOWAS President Mohamed Ibn Chambas

“We need a good and credible constitution. Secondly we need free and transparent general election. After this, we think that never, never again any political class will begin corruption and irresponsibility to justify a coup d’etat in our country,” Amadou said.

Even though he described himself as a democratic activist who does not believe in the unconstitutional taking of power, Amadou said last week’s coup against President Tandja was a justified one.

“You are always happy when you come at the end of a bad government. That is why the happiness of all our people is justified. But when you see what’s happening in Mauritania, when you see what’s happening in Guinea, you have to be vigilant. That is why even though people are very happy, they hope their happiness will not be betrayed,” he said.

Amadou blamed the intransigence of former President Tandja for last week’s coup d’etat.

He said if the new military leaders do not respect the views of the citizens, the people will return to the streets again in protest, even if it means they would be killed.

“This struggle for democracy is our destiny as democratic activists. Any government in Niger who will not want to respect democracy and the return to constitutional order we will be in the streets and we will fight dictatorship, even a civilian dictatorship or military dictatorship. For this we are ready to die,” Amadou said.

You May Like

Tired of Waiting, South Africans Demand Change ‘Now’

With chronic poverty and lack of basic services largely fueling recent xenophobic attacks, many in Rainbow Nation say it’s time for government to act More

Challenges Ahead for China's Development Plans in Pakistan

Planned $46 billion in energy and infrastructure investments in Pakistan are aimed at transforming the country into a regional hub for trade and investment More

'Forbidden City' Revisits Little Known Era of Asian-American Entertainment

Little-known chapter of entertainment history captured in 80s documentary is revisited in new digitally remastered format and book 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.
Cinema That Crosses Borders Showcased at Tribeca Film Festivali
X
April 24, 2015 4:09 AM
Among the nearly 100 feature length films being shown at this year’s Tribeca Film Festival in New York City are more than 20 documentaries and features with international appeal, from a film about a Congolese businessman in China, to documentaries shot in Pakistan and diaspora communities in the U.S., to a poetic look at disaffected South African youth. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more.
Video

Video Cinema That Crosses Borders Showcased at Tribeca Film Festival

Among the nearly 100 feature length films being shown at this year’s Tribeca Film Festival in New York City are more than 20 documentaries and features with international appeal, from a film about a Congolese businessman in China, to documentaries shot in Pakistan and diaspora communities in the U.S., to a poetic look at disaffected South African youth. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more.
Video

Video UN Confronts Threat of Young Radicals

The radicalization and recruitment of young people into Islamist extremist groups has become a growing challenge for governments worldwide. On Thursday, the U.N. Security Council heard from experts on the issue, which has become a potent threat to international peace and security. VOA’s Margaret Besheer reports.
Video

Video Growing Numbers of Turks Discover Armenian Ancestry

In a climate of improved tolerance, growing numbers of people in Turkey are discovering their grandmothers were Armenian. Hundreds of thousands of Armenians escaped the mass deportations and slaughter of the early 1900's by forced conversion to Islam. Or, Armenian children were taken in by Turkish families and assimilated. Now their stories are increasingly being heard. Dorian Jones reports from Istanbul that the revelations are viewed as an important step.
Video

Video Migrants Trek Through Western Balkans to Reach EU

Migrants from Africa and other places are finding different routes into the European Union in search of a better life. The Associated Press followed one clandestine group to document their trek through the western Balkans to Hungary. Zlatica Hoke reports that the migrants started using that route about four years ago. Since then, it has become the second-most popular path into Western Europe, after the option of sailing from North Africa to Italy.
Video

Video TIME Magazine Honors Activists, Pioneers Seen as Influential

TIME Magazine has released its list of celebrities, leaders and activists, whom it deems the world’s “most influential” in 2015. VOA's Ramon Taylor reports from New York.
Video

Video US Businesses See Cuba as New Frontier

The Obama administration's opening toward Cuba is giving U.S. companies hope they'll be able to do business in Cuba despite the continuation of the U.S. economic embargo against the communist nation. Some American companies have been able to export some products to Cuba, but the recent lifting of Cuba's terrorism designation could relax other restrictions. As VOA's Daniela Schrier reports, corporate heavy hitters are lining up to head across the Florida Straits - though experts urge caution.
Video

Video Kenya Launches Police Recruitment Drive After Terror Attacks

Kenya launched a major police recruitment drive this week as part of a large-scale effort to boost security following a recent spate of terror attacks. VOA’s Gabe Joselow reports that allegations of corruption in the process are raising old concerns about the integrity of Kenya’s security forces.
Video

Video Japan, China in Race for Asia High-Speed Rail Projects

A lucrative competition is underway in Asia for billions of dollars in high-speed rail projects. Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Malaysia Thailand and Vietnam are among the countries planning to move onto the fast track. They are negotiating with Japan and the upstart Chinese who are locked in a duel to revolutionize transportation across Asia. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman in Bangkok has details.
Video

Video Scientists: Mosquitoes Attracted By Our Genes

Some people always seem to get bitten by mosquitoes more than others. Now, scientists have proved that is really the case - and they say it’s all because of genes. It’s hoped the research might lead to new preventative treatments for diseases like malaria, as Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Bible Museum Coming to Washington DC

Washington is the center of American political power and also home to some of the nation’s most visited museums. A new one that will showcase the Bible has skeptics questioning the motives of its conservative Christian funders. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Armenia and Politics of Word 'Genocide'

A century ago this April, hundreds of thousands of Armenians of the Turkish Ottoman empire were deported and massacred, and their culture erased from their traditional lands. While broadly accepted by the U.N. and at least 20 countries as “genocide”, the United States and Turkey have resisted using that word to describe the atrocities that stretched from 1915 to 1923. But Armenians have never forgotten.
Video

Video Afghan First Lady Pledges No Roll Back on Women's Rights

Afghan First Lady Rula Ghani, named one of Time's 100 Most Influential, says women should take part in talks with Taliban. VOA's Rokhsar Azamee has more from Kabul.
Video

Video Keeping Washington Airspace Safe Is Tall Order

Being the home of all three branches of the U.S. federal government makes Washington, D.C. the prime target for those who want to make their messages and ideas heard. Unfortunately, many of them choose to deliver them in unorthodox ways, including from the air, as a recent incident clearly showed involving a gyrocopter landing on the Capitol’s West Lawn. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video New Brain Mapping Techniques Could Ease Chronic Pain

From Boulder, Colorado, Shelley Schlender reports that new methods for mapping pain in the brain are providing validation for chronic pain and might someday guide better treatment.
Video

Video Hope, Prayer Enter Fight Against S. Africa Xenophobia

South Africa has been swept by disturbing attacks on foreign nationals. Some blame the attacks on a legacy of colonialism, while others say the economy is to blame. Whatever the cause, ordinary South Africans - and South African residents from around the world - say they're praying for the siege of violence to end. Anita Powell reports from Johannesburg.

VOA Blogs