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

UN: 1 Million Somalis at Risk of Hunger

Group warns region is in dire need of humanitarian aid, with at least 200,000 children under age of five acutely malnourished as drought hits southern, central part of nation More

Human Rights Groups Allege Supression of Freedoms in Thailand

Thailand’s military, police have suppressed release of independent report assessing human rights in kingdom during first 100 days of latest coup More

Jennifer Lawrence Contacts FBI After Nude Photos Hacked

'Silver Linings Playbook' actress' photos were posted on image-sharing forum 4chan; Federal Bureau of Investigations is looking into matter 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.
Ukraine Schools Resume Classes, Donate to Government Forcesi
X
September 02, 2014 12:58 PM
A new school year has started in Ukraine but thousands of children in the war-torn east are unable to attend because of ongoing clashes with pro-Russia rebels. In Ukraine's capital, patriotic education has become the norm along with donations to support injured security forces fighting to take back rebel-held areas. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video Ukraine Schools Resume Classes, Donate to Government Forces

A new school year has started in Ukraine but thousands of children in the war-torn east are unable to attend because of ongoing clashes with pro-Russia rebels. In Ukraine's capital, patriotic education has become the norm along with donations to support injured security forces fighting to take back rebel-held areas. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video US Detainees Want Negotiators for Freedom in North Korea

The three U.S. detainees held in North Korea were permitted to speak with foreign media Monday. The government of Kim Jong Un restricted the topics of the questions, and the interviews in Pyongyang were limited to five minutes. Each of the men asked Washington to send a representative to Pyongyang to secure his release. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti has our story.
Video

Video Internet, Technology Offer New Tools for Journalists

The Internet and rapidly evolving technology is quickly changing how people receive news and how journalists deliver it. There are now more ways to tell a story than ever before. One school in Los Angeles is teaching the next generation of journalists with the help of a state-of-the-art newsroom. Elizabeth Lee has this report.
Video

Video Turkmen From Amerli Describe Survival of IS Siege

Over the past few weeks, hundreds of Shi'ite Turkmen have fled the town of Amerli seeking refuge in the northern city of Kirkuk. Despite recent military gains after U.S. airstrikes that were coordinated with Iraqi and Kurdish forces, the situation remains dire for Amerli’s residents. Sebastian Meyer went to Kirkuk for VOA to speak to those who managed to escape.
Video

Video West Africa Ebola Vaccine Trials Possible by Early 2015

A U.S. health agency is speeding up clinical trials of a possible vaccine against the deadly Ebola virus that so far has killed more than 1,500 people in West Africa. If successful, the next step would be a larger trial in countries where the outbreak is occurring. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
Video

Video Survivors Commemorate 70th Anniversary of Nazi Liquidation of Jewish Ghetto

When the German Nazi army occupied the Polish city of Lodz in 1939, it marked the beginning of a long nightmare for the Jewish community that once made up one third of the population. Roughly 200,000 people were forced into the Lodz Ghetto. Less than 7,000 survived. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, some survivors gathered at the Union League Club in Chicago on the 70th anniversary of the liquidation of the Lodz Ghetto to remember those who suffered at the hands of the Nazi regime.
Video

Video Cost to Raise Child in US Continues to Rise

The cost of raising a child in the United States continues to rise. In its latest annual report, the U.S. Department of Agriculture says middle income families with a child born in 2013 can expect to spend more than $240,000 before that child turns 18. And sending that child to college more than doubles that amount. VOA’s Deborah Block visited with a couple with one child in Alexandria, Virginia, to learn if the report reflects their lifestyle.
Video

Video Chaotic Afghan Vote Recount Threatens Nation’s Future

Afghanistan’s troubled presidential election continues to be rocked by turmoil as an audit of the ballots drags on. The U.N. says the recount will not be completed before September 10. Observers say repeated disputes and delays are threatening the orderly transfer of power and could have dangerous consequences. VOA correspondent Meredith Buel reports.

AppleAndroid