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

China’s Influence Grows With New Infrastructure Bank

Multibillion-dollar China-backed and BRICS-supported Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank seen as possible challenger to such lenders as IMF, World Bank More

Video Rabbi Hits Road to Heal Jewish-Muslim Relations in France

Rabbi Michel Serfaty makes the rounds in his friendship bus to encourage dialogue and break down barriers between the two groups More

Post-deal Iran Leaders Need 'Economic Momentum' to Solidify

Economists say deal could inject more than $100 billion into coffers - not enough to entirely rescue ailing economy - but maybe adequate to create 'economic momentum' 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.
US Gay Marriage Ruling Yields Real-life Impacti
X
Michael Bowman
June 28, 2015 10:05 PM
Friday’s landmark Supreme Court decision legalizing same-sex marriage throughout the United States is an outcome few thought possible just years ago, and shows a nation that increasingly tolerates and even celebrates the hopes and aspirations of gay people. VOA’s Michael Bowman spoke to a same-sex couple that will benefit from the high court ruling, and to a Christian scholar who is apprehensive about its potential consequences for America’s faith community.
Video

Video US Gay Marriage Ruling Yields Real-life Impact

Friday’s landmark Supreme Court decision legalizing same-sex marriage throughout the United States is an outcome few thought possible just years ago, and shows a nation that increasingly tolerates and even celebrates the hopes and aspirations of gay people. VOA’s Michael Bowman spoke to a same-sex couple that will benefit from the high court ruling, and to a Christian scholar who is apprehensive about its potential consequences for America’s faith community.
Video

Video Syrians Flee IS Advance in Hasaka

The Syrian government said Monday it has taken back one of several districts in Hasaka overrun by Islamic State militants. But continued fighting elsewhere in the northern city has forced thousands of civilians from their homes. In this report narrated by Bill Rodgers, VOA Kurdish Service reporter Zana Omer describes the scene in Amouda, where some of the displaced are taking refuge.
Video

Video Rabbi Hits Road to Heal Jewish-Muslim Relations in France

France is on high alert after last week's terrorist attack near the city Lyon, just six months after deadly Paris shootings. The attack have added new tensions to relations between French Jews and Muslims. France’s Jewish and Muslim communities also share a common heritage, though, and as far as one French rabbi is concerned, they are destined to be friends. From the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, Lisa Bryant reports about Rabbi Michel Serfaty and his friendship bus.
Video

Video S. Korea Christians Protest Gay Rights Festival

The U.S. Supreme Court decision mandating marriage equality nationwide has energized gay rights supporters around the world. Gay rights remain a highly contentious issue in a key U.S. ally, South Korea, where police did a deft job Sunday of preventing potential clashes between Christian protesters and gay activists. Kurt Achin reports from Seoul.
Video

Video Saudi Leaks Expose ‘Checkbook Diplomacy’ In Battle With Iran

Saudi Arabia’s willingness to wield its oil money on the global diplomatic stage appears to have been laid bare, after the website WikiLeaks published tens of thousands of leaked cables from Riyadh’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Nubians in Kenya Face Land Challenges

East Africa's ethnic Nubians have a rich cultural history that dates back thousands of years, but in Kenya they are facing hardships, including the loss of lands they have lived on for generations. They say the government has reneged on its pledge to award them title deeds for the plots. VOA's Lenny Ruvaga reports.
Video

Video Syrian Refugees Return to Tal Abyad

Syrian refugees in Turkey confirm they left their hometown of Tal Abyad because of intense fighting and coalition airstrikes, not because Kurdish fighters were engaged in ethnic cleansing, as some Turkish officials charged. VOA Kurdish Service reporter Zana Omer, in Tal Abyad, finds that civilians coming back to the town agree, as we hear in this report narrated by Roger Wilkison.
Video

Video Military Experts Question New Russian Tank Capabilities

Russia has been showing off its new tank design – the Armata T-14. Designers claim it is 20 years ahead of current Western designs - and driving it feels like playing a computer game. But military analysts question those assertions, and warn the cost could be too heavy a burden for Russia’s struggling economy. Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video In Kenya, Police Said to Shoot First, Ask Questions Later

An organization that documents torture and extrajudicial killings says Kenyan police were responsible for 1,252 shooting deaths in five cities, including Nairobi, between 2009 and 2014, representing 67 percent of all gun deaths in the areas reviewed. Gabe Joselow has more from Nairobi.
Video

Video In Syrian Crisis, Social Media Offer Small Comforts

Za’atari, a makeshift city in Jordan, may be the only Syrian refugee camp to tweet its activities, in an effort to keep donors motivated as the war in Syria intensifies and the humanitarian crisis deepens. Inside the camp, families say mobile phone applications help hold together families that are physically torn apart. VOA’s Heather Murdock reports.
Video

Video Chemical-Sniffing Technology Fights Australia's Graffiti Vandals

Cities and towns all over the world spend huge amounts of resources battling graffiti writers who deface buildings, public transport vehicles and even monuments. Authorities in Sydney, Australia, hope a new chemical-sniffing technology finally will stop vandals from scribbling on walls in the passenger areas of commuter trains. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Cambodia Struggling to Curb Child Labor

Earlier this year a United Nations report found 10 percent of Cambodian children aged 7-14 are working – one of the highest rates in the region – and said one in four children in that age bracket are forced to quit school to help their families. Although the child labor rate has dropped over the past decade, Cambodia has a lot more to do – including keeping more children in school. Robert Carmichael reports for VOA from Phnom Penh.

VOA Blogs