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Two Dead In Niger Election Unrest, Opposition Figure Sought

The government said Thursday that two people in Niger were killed in post-election violence and hundreds were arrested.

Interior Minister Alkash Alkada reported on the violence that began on Tuesday after the results of the presidential election were announced, saying “two victims were dead.”

Al-Hada told the media that 468 people, “including certain politicians,” he did not identify were arrested.





Central Hama Amadou photographed outside parliament in 2013
AFP / ISSOUF SANOGO

He accused the famous opposition, Hama Amadou, of being the “main person responsible” for anxiety.

“(He) is being searched and he is on the run as usual, but we will find him,” Alhada said.

Violence broke out after the Election Commission declared former Interior Minister Mohammed Bazoum 55.75 percent the winner of Sunday’s final vote, with opposition candidate Mahamane Ousman winning 44.25 percent.



Violence broke out in Niamey after election results were announced on Tuesday


Violence broke out in Niamey after election results were announced on Tuesday
AFP / Issouf SANOGO

Ousmane angryly disputed the result as a scam, claiming that he won slightly in 50.3% of the votes.

Elections have been beaten as a democratic watershed in Sahel, the poorest country in the world according to UN benchmarks for human development and a country wrestling with two jihadist rebellions.

President Mahamadu Ishufu voluntarily resigned after completing his five-year term twice, paving the way for the transition to the first election since France’s independence in 1960.



Niger


Niger
AFP / Staff

Police fired tear gas in a clash with demonstrators in the capital Niamey on Tuesday and Wednesday, but a fire damaged a pro-government party office in Dosso, 100 km (60 miles) south of the city.

One of the two deaths died of an epileptic seizure during a protest, according to Alhada.



Winner: New President Mohammed Bazoum gave a victory speech at party headquarters after the results were announced


Winner: New President Mohammed Bazoum gave a victory speech at party headquarters after the results were announced
AFP / Issouf SANOGO

The other person shot dead was the bodyguard of politician Seyni Oumarou, who was unsuccessful in the first vote on December 27, and urged supporters to vote for Bazom in the final vote, he said. It was.

There was also “destruction of infrastructure, public and private property,” Alhada said.

An unknown perpetrator also attacked Niamey’s reporter’s house for Radio France Internationale (RFI), which is widely followed in Niger.



New violence breaks out after official results bring victory to Mohammed Bazoum


New violence breaks out after official results bring victory to Mohammed Bazoum
AFPTV / Adrien BARBIER

Journalist Musa Kaka, who was unharmed in the attack, said the assailants raided his home early Thursday and “broke everything” and set fire to some of them.

Kaka, a veteran correspondent for the RFI, spent 10 months in prison from 2007 to 2008 on charges of “threatening national security” over relations with the Tuareg rebels in northern Niger.

RFI management has issued a statement that the attack on his home is “intentional” because of his status as a journalist.

“This is a very serious attack on press freedom,” he said, “full support” for Kaka.

In a joint statement, the regional block of 15 West African economies, of which the United Nations and Niger are members, condemned violence and urged “show restraint to all parties.”

Senior security sources, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the arrests included former military staff chief Mumni Breima, who was suspected of promoting anxiety.

By some criteria, Niger’s most popular opposition, Bowreima, is said to be close to Ama Do.

Former Prime Minister and Speaker of Parliament Ama Do fought over President Ishufu in 2016.

However, he was forced to campaign from behind the bar after being imprisoned on suspicion of trafficking.

His subsequent one-year conviction of these charges in 2017 was the reason for banning him in recent elections, and he threw his support behind Ousmane.

Bazoum, 60, is the right-hand man of Ishufu, the founder of the Nigerien Party for Democratic Socialism (PNDS).

He won just over 39 percent of the votes in the first round.

The 71-year-old Ottoman became the first democratically elected president of Niger in 1993, but was defeated in a coup three years later.

He won just under 17% on December 27, but received a pledge of support from a coalition of 18 opposition parties in the days prior to the final vote.



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