News

Opponents of Niger President Agree to Mediation Talks

Niger's opposition coalition has agreed to hold mediated talks after months of refusing to participate. The group had previously said it would accept nothing less than a return to the political order before the August referendum that granted President Tandja a further three years in power.

Multimedia

Audio

 

Political opponents of Niger's President Mamadou Tandja have agreed to mediation talks to resolve the country's political crisis.

Niger's opposition coalition has agreed to hold mediated talks after months of refusing to participate. The group had previously said it would accept nothing less than a return to the political order before the August referendum that granted President Tandja a further three years in power.

When Niger's parliament and its constitutional court said that referendum was illegal, President Tandja dissolved parliament and ruled by decree. Opposition parties then boycotted the referendum.

Opposition member Abdul-Aziz Amadou said mediation talks would be held in the capital Niamey, not the Nigerian capital Abuja, which had been highlighted as a possible location for security reasons.

"It's [bout alternance, it's]about democracy, it's about giving somebody else a chance to become president, to do something better," he said.

Issoufou Assoumlane is another member of the opposition coalition. He said he is hopeful that the talks will go ahead in Niamey as planned.

Assoumlane also said that he and other members are not anticipating further setbacks and are looking forwards to starting the negotiations.

The agreement comes on the 51st anniversary of the founding of the Republic of Niger.

Opposition protesters gathered in Niamey earlier this week to criticize President Tandja's failure to stand down. His five-year presidential term was originally due to expire December 22, before it was extended by the August referendum. He is now also eligible to run for another term in office three years from now.

Nouhou Arzika is the leader of the Patriotic Movement for the Defense of the Nation, a group that backed President Tandja's referendum. He said there is no need for change within the government.

President Tandja has said that he needs to stay in power to oversee mining developments, particularly in the uranium sector.

The international community remains unconvinced.

The European Union has frozen funding to development projects in Niger and the country has been suspended from the Economic Community of West African States.

The U.S. Millennium Challenge Corporation has also frozen $20 million in aid in protest at the extended referendum.

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.
A Small Oasis on Kabul's Outskirts Provides Relief From Security Tensionsi
X
May 26, 2015 11:11 PM
When people in Kabul want to get away from the city and relax, many choose Qargha Lake, a small resort on the outskirts of Kabul. Ayesha Tanzeem visited and talked with people about the precious oasis.
Video

Video A Small Oasis on Kabul's Outskirts Provides Relief From Security Tensions

When people in Kabul want to get away from the city and relax, many choose Qargha Lake, a small resort on the outskirts of Kabul. Ayesha Tanzeem visited and talked with people about the precious oasis.
Video

Video Film Festival Looks at Indigenous Peoples, Culture Conflict

A recent Los Angeles film festival highlighted the plight of people caught between two cultures. Mike O'Sullivan has more on the the Garifuna International Film Festival, a Los Angeles forum created by a woman from Central America who wants the world to know more about her culture.
Video

Video Kenyans Lament Losing Sons to al-Shabab

There is agony, fear and lost hope in the Kenyan town of Isiolo, a key target of a new al-Shabab recruitment drive. VOA's Mohammed Yusuf visits Isiolo to speak with families and at least one man who says he was a recruiter.
Video

Video Scientists Say Plankton More Important Than Previously Thought

Tiny ocean creatures called plankton are mostly thought of as food for whales and other large marine animals, but a four-year global study discovered, among other things, that plankton are a major source of oxygen on our planet. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video US-led Coalition Gives Some Weapons to Iraqi Troops

In a video released Tuesday from the Iraqi Ministry of Defense, Iraqi forces and U.S.-led coalition troops survey a cache of weapons supplied to help Iraq liberate Mosul from Islamic State group. According to a statement provided with the video, the ministry and the U.S.-led coaltion troops have started ''supplying the 16th army division with medium and light weapons in preparation to liberate Mosul and nearby areas from Da'esh (Arabic acronym for Islamic State group).''
Video

Video Amnesty International: 'Overwhelming Evidence' of War Crimes in Ukraine

Human rights group Amnesty International says there is overwhelming evidence of ongoing war crimes in Ukraine, despite a tentative cease-fire with pro-Russian rebels. Researchers interviewed more than 30 prisoners from both sides of the conflict and all but one said they were tortured. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Washington Parade Honors Those Killed Serving in US Military

Every year, on the last Monday in the month of May, millions of Americans honor the memories of those killed while serving in the armed forces. Memorial Day is a tradition that dates back to the 19th Century. While many people celebrate the federal holiday with a barbecue and a day off from work, for those who’ve served in the military, it’s a special day to remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice. Arash Arabasadi reports for VOA from Washington.
Video

Video Kenya’s Capital Sees Rise in Shisha Parlors

In Kenya, the smoking of shisha, a type of flavored tobacco, is the latest craze. Patrons are flocking to shisha parlors to smoke and socialize. But the practice can be addictive and harmful, though many dabblers may not realize the dangers, according to a new review. Lenny Ruvaga has more on the story for VOA from Nairobi, Kenya.
Video

Video Rolling Thunder Run Reveals Changed Attitudes Towards Vietnam War

For many US war veterans, the Memorial Day holiday is an opportunity to look back at a divisive conflict in the nation’s history and to remember those who did not make it home.
Video

Video Female American Soldiers: Healing Through Filmmaking

According to the United States Defense Department, there are more than 200-thousand women serving in the U.S. Armed Forces.  Like their male counterparts, females have experiences that can be very traumatic.  VOA's Bernard Shusman tells us about a program that is helping some American women in the military heal through filmmaking.

VOA Blogs