Search

 

Cablegate: Niger: Position Papers Requested; Warrants

VZCZCXRO6159
RR RUEHMA RUEHPA
DE RUEHNM #1013/01 3620750
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 280750Z DEC 09
FM AMEMBASSY NIAMEY
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 5539
INFO RUEHZK/ECOWAS COLLECTIVE
RUEHDS/AMEMBASSY ADDIS ABABA 1714
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC
RHMFISS/HQ USAFRICOM STUTTGART GE

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 NIAMEY 001013

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

DEPT FOR AF/W, AF/RSA AND DRL; PLS PASS USAID/AFR/W
ACCRA FOR USAID/WA
PARIS FOR AF WATCHER
ADDIS ABABA FOR USAU

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PGOV PREL KDEM PHUM SOCI NG
SUBJECT: NIGER: POSITION PAPERS REQUESTED; WARRANTS
REMOVED; LAND BORDERS CLOSED FOR DECEMBER 27 LOCAL ELECTIONS

REF: A. NIAMEY 1011
B. NIAMEY 1009

1. (U) Summary. The ECOWAS Mediator for the Niger political
crisis requested a meeting with Ambassador Allen on the
evening of December 24 to provide an update on the
negotiations between the Government of Niger (GON) and
Opposition. The Mediator requested both negotiation teams to
prepare a position paper by December 26. He informed both
parties that talks are scheduled to resume on December 29.
The GON Minister of Justice reissued warrants against three
Opposition leaders, but they again were removed by the GON
Prime Minister. In preparation for local elections, the GON
closed all land borders for Sunday, December 27. End summary.

2. (SBU) ECOWAS Mediator Abdulsalami Abubakar contacted
Ambassador Allen on December 24 and asked that she meet with
him later in the day to discuss the current status of the
political negotiations in Niger. He noted he also would meet
with the European Union (EU) senior representative (Note: The
EU Ambassador is not in country. End note.) on the current
state of affairs. Abubakar expressed disappointment that
both the GON and Opposition negotiation teams had yet to
move from their respective initial positions, consequently he
had been unable to draft an agenda for the talks. He added
that he asked both sides whether they could at least identify
the points on which they disagree and they arrived at the
following: a) the referendum that established the Sixth
Republic, b) the dissolution of the Constitutional Court, c)
the dissolution of the National Assembly and, d) the
three-year bonus for President Tandja that extends his time
in office to 2012. He reported that President Tandja insists
he has not taken any illegal actions, thus has been unwilling
to offer any concessions. The Mediator believes
international pressure has helped keep the GON negotiation
team at the negotiating table.

3. (U) In an attempt to advance the dialogue between the GON
and the Opposition, Mediator Abubakar tasked both sides to
prepare a position paper for delivery to him by Saturday,
December 26. He would then take two days to study the papers
and resume the talks on Tuesday, December 29.

4. (SBU) Ambassador passed to the Mediator the USG message
that we have been impressed with his efforts and ECOWAS'
resolve in handling the Niger political crisis. She
emphasized that the USG continues to support his and ECOWAS'
efforts to resolve the crisis peacefully. The Mediator
stated his appreciation for USG support and added that he had
heard the news reports about USG sanctions, including visa
restrictions for certain supporters of Tandja's extension in
office. Ambassador then inquired whether ECOWAS planned to
retract its statement of non-recognition of Tandja's
presidency, as the GON had suggested, and the Mediator
responded that he had informed the GON negotiators that the
ECOWAS statement was nothing new, and consistent with
statements made prior to December 22 (the end of Tandja's
mandate under the 1999 Constitution). Thus, he suggested to
the GON team that the ECOWAS statement was an insufficient
reason to walk away from the table and, subsequently the
talks were resumed.

5. (SBU) Ambassador inquired about the re-issuance of
warrants for three Opposition leaders (Hama Amadou, Mahamadou
Issoufou and Mahamane Ousmane). The Mediator responded that
the warrants again had been removed. He reported that GON
Minister of Justice Garba Lompo had re-issued the warrants
without any authority to do so. Consequently, Prime Minister
Ali Badjo Gamatie removed the Justice Minister from the GON
negotiation team.

6. (SBU) The Mediator mentioned that when he raised the
possibility of new National Assembly elections, members of
the Sixth Republic National Assembly have inquired whether
they would receive refunds for any funds spent on the October
election. He also inquired whether it would be acceptable to
establish a transitional National Assembly, such as adding
the members from the dissovled Fifth Republic National
Assembly to the Sixth Republic National Assembly, and an
inquiry was raised as to how the GON would pay the salaries
of a larger transitional National Assembly.

7. (U) Ambassador inquired whether the GON negotiating team

NIAMEY 00001013 002 OF 002


had offered to postpone the December 27 local elections. The
Mediator responded that the GON had insisted it will go
forward with local elections as scheduled. (Note: On
December 26, the GON announced the closure of land borders on
December 27 due to the local elections. This is consistent
with past practice to secure the land borders during
elections. End note.)


ALLEN

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
World Headlines

 

OECD: COVID-19 Crisis Puts Migration And Progress On Integration At Risk, Says

Watch the live webcast of the press conference Migration flows have increased over the past decade and some progress has been made to improve the integration of immigrants in the host countries. But some of these gains may be erased by the COVID-19 pandemic ... More>>


Pacific Media Watch: How Pacific Environmental Defenders Are Coping With The Covid Pandemic

SPECIAL REPORT: By Sri Krishnamurthi of Pacific Media Watch Pacific Climate Warriors - creative action to trigger better responses to climate crisis. Image: ... More>>

Reporters Without Borders: Julian Assange’s Extradition Hearing Marred By Barriers To Open Justice

After monitoring four weeks of evidence in the US extradition proceedings against Wikileaks publisher Julian Assange, Reporters Without Borders (RSF) reiterates concern regarding the targeting of Assange for his contributions to journalism, and calls ... More>>

OHCHR: Stranded Migrants Need Safe And Dignified Return – UN Migrant Workers Committee

The UN Committee on Migrant Workers has today called on governments to take immediate action to address the inhumane conditions of migrant workers who are stranded in detention camps and ensure they can have an orderly, safe and dignified return to ... More>>