News / Africa

Regional Mediator Proposes Power-Sharing Deal for Niger

Thousands of people march in Niamey to back Niger's President Mamadou Tandja, who has obtained an extension of his mandate in defiance of his foes and by flouting the international community, 15 Dec 2009
Thousands of people march in Niamey to back Niger's President Mamadou Tandja, who has obtained an extension of his mandate in defiance of his foes and by flouting the international community, 15 Dec 2009

Multimedia

Audio

The political crisis in Niger appears deadlocked over the fate of a government elected under a referendum that West African leaders say was unconstitutional.  The regional mediator to the conflict is waiting for the government and its opponents to respond to his plans for a power-sharing deal.

The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) says President Mamadou Tandja's legal mandate expired last month at the end of his second five-year term.  He remains in power today thanks to a controversial August referendum that did away with term limits and gave him another three years in power.

While ECOWAS has suspended Niger for what it calls "constitutional illegality," the regional alliance remains involved in the search for an end to the political crisis through the mediation of former Nigerian President Abdulsalami Abubakar.

He is proposing an interim government of national reconciliation and has given both sides until next week to respond to his plan before direct talks reconvene in early February.

But prospects for that proposal already appear dim, with Communications Ministry spokesman Kassoum Maman Moctar saying nothing will be done outside the framework of Niger's 6th Republic, which began with President Tandja's new term.

Moctar says President Tandja's government is still determined to do its best to pursue dialogue.  He says those who are not negotiating in good faith have tried to prevent talks from taking place in Niger.  Moctar says the president's supporters succeeded in having the mediation inside Niger so people can see for themselves who is negotiating in bad faith.

Moctar says President Tandja is determined to bring this dialogue to a reasonable conclusion.  He says some of the opposition demands appear to be jokes.  The government and the people of Niger have been patient, he says, and are willing to make concessions.   He says that is why they have agreed to talk with people who Moctar says want to reverse the decisions of a sovereign people, opponents who he says know nothing.

Opposition spokesman Marou Amadou says it is President Tandja who is being hostile to sincere dialogue, something he says the president makes clear every time he speaks directly to both the regional mediator and to the nation.

Amadou says there is no question the government will reject former president Abubakar's proposal, meaning there is no real dialogue.

Amadou says the opposition is asking its supporters to prepare themselves for a determined and resolute fight to block what he says are President Tandja's plans to expose the people of Niger to suffering and distress just because the president and his supporters want to enjoy the country's riches.

One of the main reasons President Tandja gave for extending his time in office is to finish several large projects including a hydroelectric dam, a Chinese-financed oil refinery, and a French uranium mine.

With his political opponents boycotting the new government, President Tandja begins his eleventh year in power with a new legislature and a new constitutional court both stripped of those who spoke out against his staying in power.

You May Like

China Investigates Former Powerful Security Chief

Former security chief and member of Politburo Standing Committee, Zhou Yongkang, under investigation for suspected 'serious disciplinary violation' More

India, US Look to Reset Ties During Kerry Visit

This week's talks will be first high level interaction between two countries since Prime Minister Narendra Modi took charge More

Video Young African Leadership Program Renamed to Honor Mandela

YALI program, launched by President Obama in 2010, aims to build skills in business, entrepreneurship, public management and civic leadership 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.
Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spati
X
Reasey Poch
July 28, 2014 7:18 PM
China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spat

China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video ESA Spacecraft to Land on a Comet

After a long flight through deep space, a European Space Agency probe is finally approaching its target -- a comet millions of kilometers away from earth. Scientists say the mission may lead to some startling discoveries about the origins of the water on earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Young Africans Arrive in US for Leadership Program

President Barack Obama's Young African Leadership Initiative has brought hundreds of young Africans to the United States for a six-week program aimed at building their knowledge and skills in fields such as public administration and business. Out of the 50,000 young Africans who applied for the program, just one percent was accepted. VOA's Laurel Bowman caught up with some of those who made the cut and has this report.
Video

Video In Honduras, Amnesty Rumors Fuel US Migration Surges

False rumors in Central America are fueling the current surge of undocumented young people being apprehended at the U.S. border. The inaccurate claims suggest the U.S. will give amnesty to young migrants from the region. As VOA's Brian Padden reports from Honduras, these rumors trace back to President Obama's 2012 executive order to halt deportations for some young undocumented immigrants already living in the United States.
Video

Video Students in Business for Themselves

They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Astronauts Train in Underwater Lab

In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid