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Cablegate: Niger: Rebels Release Vice President of National

VZCZCXRO4131
RR RUEHMA RUEHPA
DE RUEHNM #0559 1481449
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 271449Z MAY 08
FM AMEMBASSY NIAMEY
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 4332
INFO RUEHZK/ECOWAS COLLECTIVE
RUEHFR/AMEMBASSY PARIS 0685
RHMFISS/HQ USEUCOM VAIHINGEN GE

UNCLAS NIAMEY 000559

SIPDIS

STATE FOR AF/W DENNISON
PARIS FOR AF WATCHER

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL PHUM PINS PGOV SOCI NG
SUBJECT: NIGER: REBELS RELEASE VICE PRESIDENT OF NATIONAL
COMMISSION OF HUMAN RIGHTS AND FUNDAMENTAL LIBERTIES
(CNDHLF)

REF: NIAMEY 546

1. On Saturday, May 24, 2008, Mouvement des Nigerien Pour la
Justice (MNJ) rebels released CNDHLF Vice President Ahamadou
Ahalawey and his newphew, taken hostage as reported in
reftel, to the custody of the International Committee for the
Red Cross (ICRC). The ICRC delivered Ahalawey and his nephew
to the Government of Niger authorities in Agadez. (Note: MNJ
alleged on its webpage report that Ahalawey (also spelled
Ehalweye) was procuring arms for the GON. End note.)

2. CNDHLF President Garba Lompo announced that the release of
his colleague was a result of multiple demarches during the
course of the past week. He expressed gratitude to the GON
authorities, regional and international partners who
supported the CNDHLF during the ordeal, and thanked the local
and international press for publicizing the CNDHLF call for
Ahalawey's release. Lompo made a plea for the MNJ to respect
democratic principles, to lay down their weapons and to ask
the Nigerien people for forgiveness.

ALLEN

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