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

Is Air Travel Safe?

Aviation expert says despite tragic losses of Malaysian Airlines flights 370 and 17, industry experienced lowest fatality rate in recorded history last year More

Multimedia 100 Days Later, Nigerian Girls Still Held

Activists holding rallies in Nigeria and several other countries to mark 100th day of captivity for more than 200 schoolgirls being held by Boko Haram More

Chocolate Too Bitter? Swap Sugar for Mushrooms

US food technology company develops fermentation process using mushrooms to reduce bitterness in cocoa beans, believes it will cut sugar content in candy 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 Carriers Suspend Travel to Israeli
X
Carolyn Presutti
July 23, 2014 1:21 AM
The United States is prohibiting American carriers from flying to Israel's airport in Tel Aviv for 24 hours, because of rising violence between Israel and Hamas militants. The action was announced on Tuesday, after a rocket fired by Hamas militants in the Gaza Strip landed near the airport. As VOA's Carolyn Presutti tells us, international officials soon may have to determine which combat zones are too dangerous for commercial flights.
Video

Video US Carriers Suspend Travel to Israel

The United States is prohibiting American carriers from flying to Israel's airport in Tel Aviv for 24 hours, because of rising violence between Israel and Hamas militants. The action was announced on Tuesday, after a rocket fired by Hamas militants in the Gaza Strip landed near the airport. As VOA's Carolyn Presutti tells us, international officials soon may have to determine which combat zones are too dangerous for commercial flights.
Video

Video NASA Focuses on Earth-Like Planets

For decades, looking for life elsewhere in the universe meant listening for signals that could be from distant civilizations. But recent breakthroughs in space technology refocused some of that effort toward finding planets that may harbor life, even in its primitive form. VOA’s George Putic reports on a recent panel discussion at NASA’s headquarters, in Washington.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Relic of Saint Draws Catholics Worried About Immigration Issue

A Roman Catholic saint who is a figure of devotion for those crossing the border into the United States is attracting believers concerned about the plight of undocumented immigrants. Mike O'Sullivan reports from Los Angeles, where a relic of Saint Toribio has drawn thousands to local churches.
Video

Video US Awards Medal of Honor for Heroics in Bloodiest of Afghan Battles

U.S. combat troops are withdrawing from Afghanistan, on pace to leave the country by the end of this year. But on Monday, U.S. President Barack Obama took time to honor a soldier whose actions while under fire in Afghanistan earned him the Medal of Honor. VOA's Jeff Seldin has more from the Pentagon.
Video

Video Ukraine Rebels Surrender MH17 Black Boxes

After days of negotiations, a senior separatist leader handed over two black boxes from an airliner downed over eastern Ukraine to Malaysian experts early Tuesday. While on Monday, the U.N. Security Council unanimously demanded that armed groups controlling the crash site allow safe and unrestricted access to the wreckage.
Video

Video In Cambodia, HIV Diagnosis Brings Deadly Shame

Although HIV/AIDS is now a treatable condition, a positive diagnosis is still a life altering experience. In Cambodia, people living with HIV are often disowned by friends, family and the community. This humiliation can be unbearable. We bring you one Cambodian woman’s struggle to overcome a life tragedy and her own HIV positive diagnosis.
Video

Video Nature of Space Exploration Enters New Age

Forty-five years ago this month, the first humans walked on the moon. It was during an era of the space race between the United States and the Soviet Union. World politics have changed since then and -- as Elizabeth Lee reports -- so has the nature of space exploration.

AppleAndroid