Niger: Arrests continue

The arrests I noted earlier continued Monday, with at least 13 figures being held at the Gendarmerie, including top leaders who rallied to Tandja’s 6th Republic in 2009: former PM and MNSD party leader Seini Oumarou, Mohamed Ben Omar and Moktar Kassoum (former spokesmen for Tandja), and several top Ministers from the 2009 governments including Daouda Diallo, the chief of the CSC press censorship board (former PM Gamite remains in France, and is free). More interesting, arrests of chiefs of large state companies (SPEN, NIGELEC) and Tandja family point to corruption charges. But other reports said that several military officers were also arrested (no names yet). That last fact gives some support to Interior Minister Cissé Ousmane’s statement that these arrests are linked to “a subversive plot”. Still, I think this has more to do with opposition desire for justice. A coincidence that likely future President Hama Amadou returned to Niger on the 26th?

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