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Cablegate: Niger: Request for Intervention to Gain the Liberation Of

VZCZCXRO1100
RR RUEHMA RUEHPA
DE RUEHNM #0546 1431423
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 221423Z MAY 08
FM AMEMBASSY NIAMEY
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 4323
INFO RUEHZK/ECOWAS COLLECTIVE
RUEHFR/AMEMBASSY PARIS 0684
RHMFISS/HQ USEUCOM VAIHINGEN GE

UNCLAS NIAMEY 000546

STATE FOR AF/W DENNISON

PARIS FOR AF WATCHER

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL PHUM PINS PGOV SOCI NG

SUBJECT: NIGER: Request for Intervention to Gain the Liberation of
Persons Held by Rebels

1. Government of Niger National Commission of Human Rights and
Fundamental Liberties (CNDHLF) President, Lompo Garba, sent a letter
(dated May 21, 2008) to U.S. Embassy Niamey requesting the
Ambassador's intervention to gain the liberation of the CNDHLF
Commissioner and other persons in the custody of Mouvement des
Nigeriens pour la Justice (MNJ) rebels. While the Embassy has not
responded to the letter, an informal translation of the full text of
the letter is provided for the Department's information.

2. Begin text.

Excellency Madame Ambassador,

During the night between May 14-15, 2008, around 23:00 hours, a
group of armed persons abducted M. Ahamadou Ahalawey, Vice President
of the National Commission of Human Rights and Fundamental Liberties
(CNDHLF) of which I am the President, as well as one of his nephews
who was serving as chauffeur.

The abduction took place in Tanout (Zinder Region) while the
concerned was, in his capacity as national human rights
commissioner, on a mission to promote human right and the culture of
peace in this region of the country.

Undeniably, this vile act perpetrated against a senior officer from
a high institution of the Republic, an untiring defender of human
rights, unveils the true face of men who constitute and maintain a
so-called rebellion named "Mouvement des Nigeriens pour la Justice"
(MNJ).

In fact, since the month of February 2007, Niger of which the
experiences and democratic advances serve as a model to the African
continent, is confronted with a notorious situation of insecurity in
its northern region, a phenomenon that has caused a number of losses
in human life notably from the use of anti-personnel mines,
abductions and detentions in the desert of many civilians and
military personnel.

The methods employed by this so-called movement gravely contrast the
democratic values on which Niger is based, a country governed by the
rule of law, peace-loving and of justice, and that has always
demonstrated respect for democratic principles, particularly one for
dialogue to resolve conflict through institutions established for
this purpose.

The abduction of Mr. Ahalawey, a strong defender of human rights,
demonstrates if need be, that the situation in northern Niger is due
no more no less than to the acts of armed bandits. If not, how can
one comprehend that they can attack a man who by his own functions
as human rights commissioner should naturally be considered by them
an ally with regard to their demands for justice in Niger.

Also, considering the anti-democratic nature of this armed group
that plagues northern Niger and, conscious of the grave risks that
weigh on commissioner Ahalawey whose health condition has always
been precarious (the concerned has undergone several surgical
operations that constrain him to continuous medical attention), the
CNDHLF requests in its strongest terms that you use your powers and
means towards the liberation of this man as well as all the other
hostages.

In counting on your immense human qualities, please accept,
Excellency Madame Ambassador, the assurance of my highest
consideration.

cc.: President of the Republic of Niger
Prime Minister of Niger

End text.

ALLEN

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