News / Africa

Soldiers to Govern Niger Until New Constitution

Soldiers stand guard outside the office of Salou Djibo, leader of the coup that overthrew Niger's president Mamadou Tandja in Niamey, 21 Feb 2010
Soldiers stand guard outside the office of Salou Djibo, leader of the coup that overthrew Niger's president Mamadou Tandja in Niamey, 21 Feb 2010
TEXT SIZE - +

Niger's new military leaders say they will run the country until politicians agree on a new constitution.  The army took power last week in a coup against President Mamadou Tandja.

Coup leaders told diplomats from the United Nations, the African Union, and the Economic Community of West African States that they will organize elections "as soon as possible" once politicians agree on a new constitution.

Ramtane Lamamra is the African Union Commissioner for Peace and Security.

Lamamra says Niger's new military Supreme Council for the Restoration of Democracy gave regional diplomats "very clear assurances" about their willingness to work with all political parties and the international community to achieve common objectives.

Mohamed Ibn Chambas is the president of the Economic Community of West African States.

Chambas says military leaders say an inter-Nigerien dialogue will include all political parties, civil society groups, and trade unions to lead to a new constitution and credible and transparent elections.

Soldiers have suspended the constitution that President Tandja used to expand his power and give himself another three years in office.  The president, prime minister, interior minister, and finance minister are still under house arrest, but soldiers say most government ministers will keep their jobs, for the time being.

There is cautious optimism that this military action may help resolve Niger's political impasse, in part, because several of the men involved in this coup played big parts in the country's 1999 coup. That military government lasted less than a year before organizing elections that were won by President Tandja.

Coup spokesman Colonel Djibril Hamidou Hima says the military's track record of moving quickly to democratic elections should reassure the international community.

Hima says regional diplomats leave Niamey reassured by what they have seen and heard from military and political leaders. He says the transition process that the military is proposing reassured them and the military believes those diplomats now trust Niger's new leadership.

You May Like

Multimedia Relatives of South Korean Ferry Victims Fire at Authorities

46 people are confirmed dead, but some 250 remain trapped inside sunken ferry More

War Legacy Haunts Vietnam, US Relations

$84 million project aims to clean up soil contaminated by Agent Orange More

Wikipedia Proves Useful for Tracking Flu

Technique gave better results than Center for Disease Control (CDC) and Google’s Flu Trends 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, Russia, United in Faith, Divided in Politicsi
X
Michael Eckels
April 19, 2014
There is a strong historical religious connection between Russia and Ukraine. But what role is religion playing in the current conflict? In the run-up to Easter, Michael Eckels in Moscow reports for VOA.
Video

Video Ukraine, Russia, United in Faith, Divided in Politics

There is a strong historical religious connection between Russia and Ukraine. But what role is religion playing in the current conflict? In the run-up to Easter, Michael Eckels in Moscow reports for VOA.
Video

Video Face of American Farmer is Changing

The average American farmer is now 58 years old, and farmers 65 and older are the fastest growing segment of the population. It’s a troubling trend signaling big changes ahead for American agriculture as aging farmers retire. Reporter Mike Osborne says a new report from the U.S. Census Bureau is suggesting what some of those changes might look like... and why they might not be so troubling.
Video

Video Donetsk Governor: Ukraine Military Assault 'Delicate But Necessary'

Around a dozen state buildings in eastern Ukraine remain in the hands of pro-Russian protesters who are demanding a referendum on self-rule. The governor of the whole Donetsk region is among those forced out by the protesters. He spoke to VOA's Henry Ridgwell from his temporary new office in Donetsk city.
Video

Video Drones May Soon Send Data From High Seas

Drones are usually associated with unmanned flying vehicles, but autonomous watercraft are also becoming useful tools for jobs ranging from scientific exploration to law enforcement to searching for a missing airliner in the Indian Ocean. VOA’s George Putic reports on sea-faring drones.
Video

Video New Earth-Size Planet Found

Not too big, not too small. Not too hot, not too cold. A newly discovered planet looks just right for life as we know it, according to an international group of astronomers. VOA’s Steve Baragona has more.
Video

Video Copts in Diaspora Worry About Future in Egypt

Around 10 percent of Egypt’s population belong to the Coptic faith, making them the largest Christian minority in the Middle East. But they have become targets of violence since the revolution three years ago. With elections scheduled for May and the struggle between the Egyptian military and Islamists continuing, many Copts abroad are deeply worried about the future of their ancient church. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky visited a Coptic church outside Washington DC.
Video

Video Critics Say Venezuelan Protests Test Limits of Military's Support

During the two months of deadly anti-government protests that have rocked the oil-rich nation of Venezuela, President Nicolas Maduro has accused the opposition of trying to initiate a coup. Though a small number of military officers have been arrested for allegedly plotting against the government, VOA’s Brian Padden reports the leadership of the armed forces continues to support the president, at least for now.
Video

Video More Millenials Unplug to Embrace Board Games

A big new trend in the U.S. toy industry has more consumers switching off their high-tech gadgets to play with classic toys, like board games. This is especially true among the so-called millenial generation - those born in the 1980's and 90's. Elizabeth Lee has more from an unusual café in Los Angeles, where the new trend is popular and business is booming.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
AppleAndroid