Cablegate: Niger: Ecowas Mediator Proposes Road Map for Niger;

DE RUEHNM #0048/01 0192017
R 192017Z JAN 10




E.O. 12958: N/A
SUBJECT: Niger: ECOWAS Mediator Proposes Road Map for Niger;
Government and Opposition Respond

Ref: a) Niamey 0029, b) 09 Niamey 1025, c) 09 Niamey 1005

1. Summary: On January 14, weeks after the pro-Government and the
opposition delegations to the Inter-Nigerien Political Dialogue
(INPD) submitted their positions (refs A and B), ECOWAS Mediator
Abdusalami Abubakar presented his suggestions for a way out of
Niger's political crisis. In response, Niger's main opposition
group, the Coordination of Forces for Democracy and the Republic
(CFDR), issued a statement accusing the Government of Niger (GON) of
manipulating the mediator and delaying talks in order to undermine
the negotiations. The GON rejected the CFDR's accusations as
groundless. End summary.

ECOWAS Mediator Proposes Transitional Government
--------------------------------------------- ---
2. On January 14, ECOWAS Mediator retired General and former
Nigerian Head of State Abdusalami Abubakar met separately with INPD
protagonists and provided them with a memorandum detailing his
conclusions and suggestions for a way forward. He requested that
each delegation forward written responses to him by January 26. The
Mediator adjourned the INPD until February 3. (Note: Abubakar was
summoned to Sudan to help mediate the conflict in Darfur. End note.)
The Mediators' proposal is as follows:

(Begin text)

-- The Dialogue shall establish an Interim National Reconciliation
Government (INRG) or a National Reconciliation Government (NRG) for
a period to be determined by the Dialogue;

-- Consensus provisions shall be adopted in order to govern during
the period;

-- His Excellency President Mamadou Tandja shall remain in office
until the end of the period in compliance with this Agreement;

-- The Government shall be led by a technocrat appointed by
consensus. The Government shall comprise representatives selected
by the Dialogue;

-- The Government shall ensure daily operation of State affairs in
compliance with this Agreement;

-- The National Council for Political Dialogue shall be reinstated
and remain in continuous consultation with the National Assembly.
The Council shall make recommendations to the Government concerning
a schedule for elections;

-- The Government shall be responsible for setting up a schedule for
elections, the effective completion of which shall mean the end of
the Interim National Reconciliation Government. These processes
shall be conducted under the supervision of an Independent National
Electoral Commission created by consensus;

-- Within the framework of the reconciliation, the National Assembly
shall be increased to 160 members in order to ensure the CFDR's
representation; and

-- The amnesty granted by the government for political violations
committed before the Dialogue shall remain valid after the

(End text)

CFDR Slams Government for Delays, Expresses Skepticism
--------------------------------------------- ---------
3. On January 17, the CFDR issued a statement in response to the
ECOWAS-proposed road map and the suspension of the INPD. The CFDR
accused the GON of using a variety of delaying tactics that forced
the Mediator to allow "repeated suspensions and restricted
meetings." The CFDR stated that it conceded to the creation of a
consensus and inclusive transitional government that would draft a
new constitution and organize new elections. According to the CFDR,
President Tandja's New Year's greetings of state institutions and
the diplomatic corps clearly showed that "President Tandja and his
zealots had never hidden their hostility to dialogue and their
intention to give no chance to its success."

4. The CFDR went on to say that it would convey its proposals as
requested by the Mediator, but asked Nigeriens to have "no illusions
as to the outcome of this Dialogue, which, in truth, has never taken
place" and called on supporters of democracy to "prepare for a
resolute and determined struggle in order to defeat President
Tandja's projects..." The CFDR further stated that " addition
to being solely responsible for engaging the country in a crisis,
President Tandja, by his stubbornness, autism, and carelessness for

NIAMEY 00000048 002 OF 002

the country's peace and stability, is the only responsible for the
failure of the Dialogue wished by the international community and
supported by the majority of Nigeriens."

GON Rejects Opposition's Claims as Groundless
5. January 17, the GON via the Minister of Communication and
Government Spokesperson Moctar Kassoum declared the opposition's
statement as "untimely and irresponsible." Kassoum stated, "One
cannot put words into the Government's mouth while it had not yet
responded to the road map that the Mediator proposed to the two
parties." According to him, the CFDR's statement reveals the
opposition's niche for "subversion, denouncement, and perfidy, often
in complicity with certain foreign forces." The Minister assured
that "the Government will make every effort so the Inter-Nigerien
Dialogue can achieve reasonable results. Likewise, democracy will
be protected and sustained...The Government is analyzing the
Mediator's proposals for a way out of the crisis, and will respond
responsibly, that is, to preserve the nation's and the population's
interests." He further stated that "nothing will be done outside
the framework of the Sixth Republic."

6. It appears that the Mediator's proposal regarding the expansion
of National Assembly membership was not derived from the proposals
of the two delegations (refs A and B). In fact, the ECOWAS Mediator
met individually with President Tandja on January 11 to seek his
approval of the proposals made to both parties. According to
Embassy contacts, President Tandja told the Mediator that he would
not concede anything regarding the Sixth Republic and deriving
institutions - a position reiterated by the GON Spokesperson on
January 17. Instead, President Tandja offered to expand the
National Assembly, "allotting" 47 seats to the opposition.

7. Many opposition members believe that the above referenced offer
further proves that President Tandja does not take negotiations
seriously and that he is using such maneuvers to delay further
international sanctions while pursuing his plans to consolidate his
power. Overall, the Mediator's proposed road map appears to pose a
complex exercise designed to result in the protagonists' proposals
meeting halfway.


© Scoop Media

World Headlines


Euro-Med Monitor: Updated Report On The Israeli Massacres During The Military Attack On The Gaza Strip

Geneva – The Israeli forces has killed and maimed many Palestinians in deliberate targeting of unprotected homes with families inside in inhumane military operations, Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Monitor said. Since the beginning of the current ... More>>

IPPPR: The Independent Panel Calls For Urgent Reform Of Pandemic Prevention And Response Systems

Expert independent panel calls for urgent reform of pandemic prevention and response systems The Independent Panel for Pandemic Preparedness and Response is today calling on the global community to end the COVID-19 pandemic and adopt a series of bold and ... More>>

NGO Coalition On Human Rights: Call For A Stop To Police Brutality In Fiji

A viral video has circulated online showing two police officers utilising disproportionate and excessive force in detaining the suspect, an individual half their size. In the video it shows the man’s head being pressed down on the ground, his arms being ... More>>

Focus On: UN SDGs

ILO Voices: A Future With Hope, Free From Bonded Labour

By Padma Kumari Tamata Formerly in bonded labour, Padma Kumari Tamata is now a farmer, and grows and sells her own vegetables in the Kanchanpur district of Nepal. My name is Padma and I come from Vashi, a small hamlet in Nepal’s far-west Kanchanpur district. ... More>>

UN: Economic Recovery Under Threat Amid Surging COVID Cases And Lagging Vaccination In Poorer Countries

New York, 11 May — While the global growth outlook has improved, led by robust rebound in China and the United States, surging COVID-19 infections and inadequate vaccination progress in many countries threaten a broad-based recovery of the world ... More>>

Study: Cut Methane Emissions To Avert Global Temperature Rise

6 May 2021 Methane emissions caused by human activity can be reduced by up to 45 per cent this decade, thus helping to keep global temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius in line with the Paris Agreement on climate change, according to a UN-backed ... More>>