While the World condemns Niger's coup, its people celebrate.
By, Uwe Paschen.
It has been three days since President Tandja was relieved from power by a military coup. By now, the first reactions from around the world where voiced.
The most important may be that of the African Union (AU or OUA) which has suspended Niger’s membership from the continental organization a day after the coup that ousted President Mamadou Tandja.
Uganda's AU ambassador Mull Sebujja Katende said,
“Niger is suspended from all activities of the African Union. Meanwhile, we will continue with the process of helping them to return to constitutional order… The ultimate for a situation like what is in Niger is that ultimately, every Nigerian will go to a booth, cast a vote, elect a leader he wants, eventually,"
Even though the African Union sanctions are generally considered to be more of a symbolic nature with little power behind them. Although the AU wants to change this and show some force this time and this in the form of travel embargos, economic sanctions and other forms of restriction as deemed necessary.
The AU counsel's President Mr. Katende, expressed that the AU position is, that there is no good coup, and that in the case of Niger, two wrongs do not make a right. Even though the AU and EU did not approve of Niger’s former Presidents Tandja politics or his suspension of the constitution, a coup is hardly the right way of solving Niger’s troubles, so they believe.
The AU does oppose all coups, even against leaders that hold power illegally, this in it self could be seen as double standard and a lack of compassion for the people that have to live under some of Africa’s Tyrants, even though in principal this is most commendable as a position to be taken by the AU. With out some major power and pressure, this is hardly holding any value, alas.
The AU demands that Niger will hold elections with in a month; wish may be somewhat unrealistic from a logistic point of view.
The UN on the other hand has not even discussed the situation in Niger so far, even though the UN chief Ban Ki-moon added his voice to international condemnation of the coup that toppled Niger's president Tandja.
The EU for its part did as well condemn the coup in Niger through the voice of its High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy.
In the mean time, wile the World leaders may fear for a shortage off Uranium and Oil supplies. The people of Niger for their part seem to be rather happy, after all in Niamey, Maradi and Tahoua thousands are reported to openly celebrate in the streets and rejoice in the fact that Tandja is no longer in power.
Maybe the UN, the EU and the AU are backing the wrong horse here?