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Cablegate: Former Prime Minister Detained and Questioned

VZCZCXRO6830
PP RUEHMA RUEHPA
DE RUEHNM #0024 0081134
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 081134Z JAN 08
FM AMEMBASSY NIAMEY
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 4022
INFO RUEHZK/ECOWAS COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RHEFDIA/DIA WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RHMFISS/CDR USEUCOM VAIHINGEN GE PRIORITY
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC PRIORITY
RUEHLMC/MCC WASHDC PRIORITY

UNCLAS NIAMEY 000024

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PGOV ECON NG
SUBJECT: FORMER PRIME MINISTER DETAINED AND QUESTIONED

REF: 07 NIAMEY 1412

1. (U) Former Prime Minister Hama Amadou was questioned by
police for about five hours on January 7. Details are still
sketchy, but the questioning apparently followed a scuffle
earlier in the day involving youth elements of the ruling
MNSD party. One of the youth had questioned Amadou, who
heads the MNSD, regarding party finances. Amadou reportedly
objected to the call for an audit and his supporters attacked
the person who raised the issue, burning his car. Amadou was
called in for allegedly inciting violence. Many of his
supporters gathered at the police station while he was being
questioned.

2. (SBU) The incident takes place in the context of a rivalry
between Amadou and President Tandja over control of the MNSD.
A number of prominent Amadou supporters in the MNSD,
including the mayor of Niamey, were recently arrested on
corruption charges (reftel). The mayor of Maradi, who is not
a MNSD member, was also later arrested on corruption charges,
but released pending trial. Amadou supporters have
questioned why the Niamey mayor was not similarly released.

ALLEN

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