News / Africa

ECOWAS Abhors Coup D’états, Says President Chambas

The President of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) is expressing concern over tensions in Niger after mutinous soldiers ousted embattled President Mamadou Tandja in a coup d’état Thursday.

Soldiers stand guard by Niamey's national hospital, Niger, during a coup attempt against President Mamadou Tandja on 18 Feb. 2010
Soldiers stand guard by Niamey's national hospital, Niger, during a coup attempt against President Mamadou Tandja on 18 Feb. 2010

Multimedia

Audio
  • Dr. Mohammed Ibn Chambas, ECOWAS President Spoke With Clottey

Peter Clottey

The President of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) is expressing concern over tensions in Niger after mutinous soldiers ousted embattled President Mamadou Tandja in a coup d’état Thursday.

Mohammed Ibn Chambas said officials of the regional bloc will soon arrive in Niger to ascertain the situation on the ground as well as encourage the military to immediately return the country to constitutional rule.

“We are very and deeply concerned about it and that has been expressed by the chairman of ECOWAS in his statement that this is a throwback to the past in the region, a situation which obviously is unacceptable. We have a policy now of zero tolerance for violent change of government just as we find totally unacceptable attempts by governments to hang on to power through manipulation of constitutions,” he said.

Deposed President Mamadou Tandja
Deposed President Mamadou Tandja

Abdul Kamardine, a human rights activist in the capital, Niamey said that shortly after 10pm local time, the spokesman of the new military regime, Colonel Abdulkarim Goukoye announced on national television that they have taken over the government.

In a statement, Colonel Goukoye said the aim of the takeover is to restore democracy after announcing the suspension of the constitution and all government institutions.

He also imposed a dusk to dawn curfew from 6pm to 6am and closed Niger’s borders with its neighbors while suspending land and air travels.

But ECOWAS President Ibn Chambas said the new military regime should return the country to constitutional rule.

“The way forward in Niger is through a consensus around the constitution and this is what ECOWAS will work with all Nigeriens to re-establish dialogue and to build consensus on constitutional government,” Chambas said.

Colonel Goukoye urged the international community’s understanding and support after saying the military is the custodian of Niger’s national unity.

ECOWAS President Mohammed Ibn Chambas
ECOWAS President Mohammed Ibn Chambas

The new military regime has tasked a military council known as Conseil Superieur Pour La Restoration De la Democratie (CSRD) to help with the country’s return to democracy.

Ibn Chambas said ECOWAS is working closely with the African Union (AU) ahead of sending officials of the regional bloc to ascertain the situation in Niger.

“The chairman of the ECOWAS is in consultations with the AU chairperson. I have spoken to Mr. Jean Ping, chairperson of AU Commission and others and we are working as quickly as possible that is as soon as the security situation on the ground allows it to send an ECOWAS mission, and hopefully to be followed quickly by the AU. We will work hand in hand with the African Union to ensure that there is restoration of consensus around the constitution in Niger,” Chambas said.

Deposed President Tandja and a majority of his cabinet are reportedly still being held by the mutinous soldiers at Tondibrah military camp, a training ground for new military recruits.

You May Like

Turkey's Controversial Reform Bill Giving Investors Jitters

Homeland security reform bill will give police new powers in search, seizure, detention and arrests, while restricting the rights of suspects, their attorneys More

Audio Slideshow In Kenyan Prison, Good Grades Are Path to Freedom

Some inmates who get high marks could see their sentences commuted to non-custodial status More

Ali Regained Title in Historic Fight 40 Years Ago

'The Champ' knocked Foreman out to regain crown he had lost 7 years earlier when US government accused him of draft-dodging and boxing officials revoked his license 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.
Victorious Secularists Face Challenge to Form Government in Tunisiai
X
Henry Ridgwell
October 30, 2014 11:39 PM
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 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