Niger junta names transitional government


Niger’s military junta named yesterday a 20-member provisional government which is intended to guide the West African uranium exporter to elections after last month’s army takeover.

Junta chief Major Salou Djibo appointed five officers to the government in a decree. Last month, a junta spokesman said nobody who serves in the administration would be allowed to stand in elections, for which no date has been set yet.

Aside from the Defence Ministry, headed by General Mamadou Ousseini, the other soldiers have been appointed to relatively minor departments.

Civilian Prime Minister Mahamadou Danda, who was handed the job last month, keeps his position, according to the decree which was broadcast on state television.

The international community criticised those who ousted President Mamadou Tandja, but privately many diplomats believe the putsch has created an opportunity to solve the political crisis that began when Tandja changed the constitution last year to broaden and entrench his powers.

Ranked bottom of the United Nations Human Development Index, Niger is nonetheless attracting billions of dollars in investment in its uranium and oil resources from French and Chinese firms, among others.

Pic: Niger junta- Major Salou Djibo