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Cablegate: Niger: Resignations From the Mnj Political Cell;

VZCZCXRO6998
PP RUEHMA RUEHPA
DE RUEHNM #0572/01 1511011
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 301011Z MAY 08
FM AMEMBASSY NIAMEY
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 4338
INFO RUEHZK/ECOWAS COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEHFR/AMEMBASSY PARIS PRIORITY 0686
RHMFISS/CDR USEUCOM VAIHINGEN GE PRIORITY
RUZEHAA/CDR USEUCOM INTEL VAIHINGEN GE PRIORITY
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC PRIORITY
RHEFDIA/DIA WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 NIAMEY 000572

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PGOV MOPS PINR NG
SUBJECT: NIGER: RESIGNATIONS FROM THE MNJ POLITICAL CELL;
NEW GROUP FORMED

REF: 07 NIAMEY 904

1. (U) A May 28 posting on the MNJ web site signed by Chehna
ag Hamate announced Hamate's resignation from the MNJ
political cell. On May 30 another posting said that the
political cell had met the day before and accepted the
resignation of Chehna Hamate and Kaocen Seydou Maiga. The
new political cell is comprised of:

Ghissa (Rhissa?) Feltou, coordinator;
Issouf ag Maha, communications director;
Ghoumour Moctar secretary for foreign relations;
Atouwa Egour executive secretary;
Mohamed Wan Jade (aka Tombola), military counselor; and,
Ahmed Akoli, political secretary.

2. (U) When the MNJ was established in July 2007, Aghali
Alambo was listed as President of the Political Bureau, and
Mohamed Acheriff as the Vice President. Last July 15
(reftel), the MNJ announced the composition of the political
bureau as:

Chehna ag Hamate, president;
Rhissa ag Feltou, vice president;
Seydou Kaocen Maiga, secretary-general and spokesman;
Moussa Niandou, Assistant secretary-general;
Ghoumou Moctar, secretary for foreign relations; and,
Ahmed Akoli, political secretary.

3. (SBU) Comment: The political cell/bureau does not appear
to have any role in MNJ military actions. It is presumably
focused on fund raising and otherwise developing support with
both Nigeriens in the diaspora and foreign groups. (Issouf
ag Maha has given talks in support of the MNJ in the United
States.) Thus, the shake-up is unlikely to have any
near-term effect on military activities, which are sporadic
anyway, but it may reduce financial and other support to the
organization.

4. (U) On May 30, a new website appeared
(redressement.unblog.fr) announcing the formation of the
"Front des Forces de Redressement" (FFR). The group is
comprised of:

Aoutchiki Kriska, president;
Rhissa ag Boula, war commissar;
Seydou-Kaocen ag Amadou Maiga, communications and information
commissar;
Chehna ag Hamate, commissar for relations with Europe;
Ibrahim ag Amounmoune Hamid, commissar for mines, energy and
the environment;
Ahmad ag Ibrahim Rhissa, commissar for development and
humanitarian action;
Elkontchi ag Aoutchiki Kriska, commissar for relations with
the Maghreb;
Hamadou Zola Kambessikone, commissar for relations with the
Americas;
Ahmed ag Ghamir Dayak, commissar for youth, sport and culture;
Abdoulaye ag Sabiou, commissar for justice and human rights;
Mohamed ag Inwilli, commissar for relations with
international organizations; and,
A headquarters with five general officers.

5. (U) Kriska was a senior member of the Front de Liberation
de Tamoust (FLT) during the rebellion of the early 1990s.
(The head of the FLT, Mohamed Akotey, is currently the GON
environment minister.)

6. (U) Rhissa Ag Boula was the head of the leading group in
the 1990s rebellion, the Front de Liberation de L'Air et de
l'Azawak (FLAA). He served as GON tourism minister after the
rebellion, but was later jailed for his alleged involvement
in the murder of a politician in 2004. He has been out of
Niger (reportedly in Libya, France and/or Algeria) since the
current rebellion began in February 2007. He has criticized
the government and expressed support for the MNJ, but the MNJ
has disavowed any connections with him.

7. (U) MNJ defectors Hamate and Maiga have joined the new
group. FFR Commissar for relations with the Americas
Kambessikone had previously served as the MNJ contact in New
York.

8. (SBU) Comment: A fracturing of the rebel movement is
consistent with splits within the Tuareg community. During

NIAMEY 00000572 002 OF 002


the rebellion of the early 1990s, there were 13 Tuareg
groups, as well as two Toubou ones.

ALLEN

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