Civil War is unfolding in Niger. (Update 3)
By, Uwe Paschen.
Niger is once again in trouble and this time it is of the highest concern to all involved. Causing all alarm bells to ring laud and clear with the OUA, the UN and the EU.
This seems to be the beginning of a civil war that was preceded by countless demonstrations in Niamey against the attempt of the Current President to change the Constitution in spite of repeated constitutional court rulings against this attempt by the currant President Mamadou Tandja who tries to remain in power indefinitely just as Hugo Chavez does seem to try along with others around the Globe that believe in Democracy only as long as it suits them personally.
This comes after month of peace negotiations with the MNJ (Mouvement du Niger pour la Justice.) that did finally conceded after many efforts from Libya and the UN where deployed to re-enter a Democratic process and to lay down arms.
The latest unrest is also preceded by month of turmoil due to the kidnapping of UN envoy Robert Fowler and Louis Guay whom have been released only last April of this Year after being held since December 2008 in Niger.
The MNJ and others have already regretted their good faith. They are now regrouping and rearming. However, this time the Tuaregs and Berber are not alone, they have now support form opposition movements from the south in the Housa area. Even though, a Coup seemed to have failed earlier yesterday, it seems the country is on the path to civil war and this on all fronts and with all ethnical groups going against the Government of Mamadou Tandja who seems to remain in control over the Armed Forces and the Foreign Mercenaries so far.
Those Armed Forces are equipped by the US and trained by the US who has some major interest in this country as China, Canada and India as well as France and Japan do. This due to Niger's rich Uranium resources making the third largest Uranium exporter in the World after Australia and Canada.
Niger does belongs to the 10 poorest countries on this planet and yet is blessed with an abundance of resources such as Uranium, Gold, Silver, Oil and more, this country has been helped and protected by the EU to great extend and has benefited from countless support programs and UN aid.
It knew prosperity and was on the right track in the mid seventies early eighties under the Government of Kunche, however fall back into corruption and sectarian wars since.
The UN has invested countless resources as did Libya and Algeria to work out a peace in Niger and counter the corruption that bleed this country to death.
This was so far with only limited success, since the Housa in the South refused to this day to give equal rights to the minorities such as the Tuaregs, the Berber, the Peul and others that are part of this country and whose territories are the once blessed with an abundance of wealth. Where as the South wish is the homeland of the Housa is blessed with fertile land and water, however, they do not have Uranium or Gold below the ground they walk on. The Housa make up almost 50% of the total population though and control the Government, the Armed Forces and the Police. Most of Niger is Desert and home to the Tuaregs, Peul and Fulani. Those have never accepted to be left out of the Government and being treated as second class citizen nor do they accept leaving control over their land and heritage to an estranged colonial type government in the far south of Niger.
More news will follow as it becomes available.
The links bellow are all related to this latest news development and give a back round to what is happening and why to those that may be interested.
Update 1. 03/07/09. Below.
"EU is gravely concerned at recent political developments in Niger and welcomes the efforts made by the African Union (AU) and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) to ensure a democratic outcome in Niger," said a declaration by the Swedish Presidency on behalf of EU on the political situation of Niger.
"have made it extremely difficult for the country's democratic institutions and the Constitutional Court to play their roles as guarantors of the rule of law," Mr. Ban said in a statement issued by his spokesperson.
Gibbs (USA) for his part said "to rule by ordinance and decree and to dissolve the National Assembly and the Constitutional Court as part of a bid to retain power beyond his constitutionally-limited mandate."
The MNJ (Mouvement des Nigerien pour la Justice) have pledged to resist the dictatorial Government of Tandja and fight for Justice and Democracy in Niger. The Peace and cease fire has been called of.
Update 2. 03/07/09.
Seven Ministers of the Current Government under President Tandja have resigned there post in view of the illegal actions by the president. A second new party of all decedents from the Current governing party has been funded in opposition to the Government action named MODEN.
The President has named a new Constitutional court and appointed seven new judges loyal to him, he also replaced the Ministers that opposed him with loyal subject from his close entourage that have not been elected by the people nor by the parliament that the President of Niger has dissolved earlier since it opposed his coup against the Constitutional courts and actions against the Public opposition to him.
All borders are being blocked and a cure few has been issued. The Djerma and Tuaregs are manifesting their oppositions to the Government and President Tandja with determination and by calling for civil resistance to all Niger Citizen.
Update 3. 04/07/09.
Is the sad reality of our indifference.
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Redwater, Alberta, Canada