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

Multimedia US Defense Secretary: Iraqi Forces Lack 'Will to Fight'

Ash Carter criticizes Iraq's reaction to Islamic State; National Security Advisor Susan Rice echoed Carter's concerns in an interview on CBS More

Boko Haram Surrounds Havens With Land Mines

Chad and Cameroon say huge numbers of land mines planted by Boko Haram fighters along Cameroon's border with Nigeria are a danger to people, livestock and soldiers More

Women Peace Activists Cross Korean DMZ

Governments of Koreas give international delegation of women peace activists permission to pass through heavily fortified border, but some critics say symbolic crossing only benefits Pyongyang 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.
Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthroughi
X
May 22, 2015 10:23 AM
Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthrough

Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Europe Follows US Lead in Tackling ‘Conflict Minerals’

Metals mined from conflict zones in places like the Democratic Republic of Congo are often sold by warlords to buy weapons. This week European lawmakers voted to force manufacturers to prove that their supply chains are not inadvertently fueling conflicts and human rights abuses. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Class Tackles Questions of Race, Discrimination

Unrest in some U.S. cities is more than just a trending news item at Ladue Middle School in St. Louis, Missouri. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, it’s a focus of a multicultural studies class engaging students in wide-ranging discussions about racial tensions and police aggression.
Video

Video Mind-Controlled Prosthetics Are Getting Closer

Scientists and engineers are making substantial advances towards the ultimate goal in prosthetics – creation of limbs that can be controlled by the wearer’s mind. Thanks to sophisticated sensors capable of picking up the brain’s signals, an amputee in Iceland is literally bringing us one step closer to that goal. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Afghan Economy Sinks As Foreign Troops Depart

As international troops prepare to leave Afghanistan, and many foreign aid groups follow, Afghans are grappling with how the exodus will affect the country's fragile economy. Ayesha Tanzeem reports from the Afghan capital, Kabul.
Video

Video Poverty, Ignorance Force Underage Girls Into Marriage

The recent marriage of a 17-year old Chechen girl to a local police chief who was 30 years older and already had a wife caused an outcry in Russia and beyond. The bride was reportedly forced to marry and her parents were intimidated into giving their consent. The union spotlighted yet again the plight of many underage girls in developing countries. Zlatica Hoke reports poverty, ignorance and fear are behind the practice, especially in Asia and Africa.
Video

Video South Korea Marks Gwangju Uprising Anniversary

South Korea this week marked the 35th anniversary of a protest that turned deadly. The Gwangju Uprising is credited with starting the country’s democratic revolution after it was violently quelled by South Korea’s former military rulers. But as Jason Strother reports, some observers worry that democracy has recently been eroded.
Video

Video California’s Water System Not Created To Handle Current Drought

The drought in California is moving into its fourth year. While the state's governor is mandating a reduction in urban water use, most of the water used in California is for agriculture. But both city dwellers and farmers are feeling the impact of the drought. Some experts say the state’s water system was not created to handle long periods of drought. Elizabeth Lee reports from Ventura County, an agricultural region just northwest of Los Angeles.
Video

Video How to Clone a Mammoth: The Science of De-Extinction

An international team of scientists has sequenced the complete genome of the woolly mammoth. Led by the Swedish Museum of Natural History in Stockholm, the work opens the door to recreate the huge herbivore, which last roamed the Earth 4,000 years ago. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble considers the science of de-extinction and its place on the planet
Video

Video Blind Boy Defines His Life with Music

Cole Moran was born blind. He also has cognitive delays and other birth defects. He has to learn everything by ear. Nevertheless, the 12-year-old has had an insatiable love for music since he was born. VOA’s June Soh introduces us to the young phenomenal harmonica player.

VOA Blogs