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Cablegate: Niger: Amb. Allen's Outgoing Calls On Senior Gon

VZCZCXYZ0001
RR RUEHWEB

DE RUEHNM #0056 0212048
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 212048Z JAN 10
FM AMEMBASSY NIAMEY
TO SECSTATE WASHDC 5583

UNCLAS NIAMEY 000056

FOR AF AND AF/W

SIPDIS
SENSITIVE

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL PGOV PHUM SOCI KDEM NG
SUBJECT: Niger: Amb. Allen's Outgoing Calls on Senior GON
Officials

1. (SBU) Ambassador spoke with Government of Niger (GON) Prime
Minister (PM) Gamatie, Foreign Minister Mindaoudou, and President
Tandja, respectively, on January 11, 13, and 14, during departure
calls.

2. (SBU) No new ground was broken on the political front, though the
PM expressed surprise at the suspension of the U.S.-funded
scholarships for youth in the vocational training programs (PDEV).
Ambassador responded that as a consequence of the GON's turn away
from rule of law and unconstitutional, undemocratic acts, all
non-humanitarian aid was suspended. She added that education and
vocational training programs were not deemed to meet the USG
definition of humanitarian aid, and consequently fell subject to the
suspension. (Note: On state television, Tele-Sahel, it was
announced that the GON would use the President's Special Fund to pay
for the scholarships for the 1000+ youth in Niamey that were
affected by the suspension. There was no mention of any action to
be taken to accommodate the 3000+ youth who were to begin vocational
programs in the regions of Maradi and Zinder, located in central and
eastern Niger, respectively. End note.)

3. (SBU) Ambassador closed her remarks by stating disappointment at
the current political circumstances that prevented the USG from
going forward with important programs, such as those in the
education sector, which had been initiated to benefit Nigerien
youth. All three GON officials spoke from the same script and
reiterated that Niger had taken a new path based on the "will of the
people."

WHITAKER

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