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Cablegate: Niger: Government Returns to Negotiation Table

VZCZCXRO5065
RR RUEHMA RUEHPA
DE RUEHNM #1011 3581106
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 241106Z DEC 09
FM AMEMBASSY NIAMEY
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 5537
INFO RUEHZK/ECOWAS COLLECTIVE
RHMFISS/HQ USAFRICOM STUTTGART GE

UNCLAS NIAMEY 001011

DEPT FOR AF/W AND AF/RSA; PLS PASS TO USAID FOR AFR/W
ACCRA FOR USAID/WA
PARIS FOR AFRICA WATCHER

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PGOV PREL KDEM SOCI PHUM NG
SUBJECT: Niger: Government Returns to Negotiation Table

Ref: a) Niamey 1009, b) Niamey 1008, c) Niamey 1005, Niamey 1004

1. On December 23, during the state television evening news
broadcast, the Minister of Communication and Government Spokesperson
read a Government of Niger (GON) statement about recent developments
in the Inter-Nigerien Political Dialogue (INPD). Following are
highlights of the statement:

(Begin text)

"The Government of the Republic of Niger has just learned, with
surprise and indignation, of a statement purportedly from ECOWAS,
dated December 22, 2009...The statement is surprising, both in
content and its timing, and does not conform to the conclusions of
the Heads of State and Government Conference held on October 17 in
Abuja...The Government marks its indignation regarding the attitude
of the ECOWAS Commission, which makes pronouncements on the mandate
of the President of the Republic of Niger without having competence
to do so...the Government of Niger reminds the members of the ECOWAS
Commission that they are subject to the obligation of restraint, and
therefore they do not have the right to indulge in obtrusive and
counter-productive statements...The Government reminds that a
referendum was organized on August 4, 2009, and on that occasion a
large majority of the Nigerien people clearly favored the succession
of the 6th Republic which is more suited to our realities. This
constitutional referendum establishes a 6th Republic and terms that
provide that the President of the Republic's mandate will reach its
end in 2012. The Government ...reaffirms its willingness to
dialogue, and reiterates its support for the ongoing mediation."

(End text)

2. Comment: Embassy Niamey has just learned that the GON delegation
will return to the negotiation table on December 24. During the GON
delegation's walk out on December 23, Minister of Justice Garba
Lompo told journalists that "From now on, we will arrest any person
who infringes the law...we will arrest all those who were subject to
a warrant of arrest whenever they set foot in Niger." Apparently,
the three opposition leaders who stayed away from Niamey - Hama
Amadou, Mohammed Issoufou, and Mahamane Ousmane - had made a wise
decision. The recent developments show some confusion and
substantiate reports of a schism within the presidential camp
between hawks and doves. End comment.

ALLEN

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
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