Niger’s post-election unrest — during which at least two people have been killed — threatens to dent the presidency of Mohamed Bazoum, even before he is officially inaugurated. The February 21 runoff vote was expected to usher in Niger’s first democratic transition of power since the West African nation gained independence from France in 1960. Trouble at the top But Niger’s interior minister, Alkache Alhada, has accused one of Niger’s most popular opposition figures, Hama Amadou, of wanting to usurp power by “setting fire” to Niger. The government has vowed to arrest and prosecute Amadou, whom they allege is complicit in murder, violence, racist remarks and xenophobia. Amadou, a former prime minister and speaker of the assembly, was barred by the electoral commission from running for the presidency due to a 2017 conviction on charges of child trafficking for which he was sentenced to a one-year jail term. Prosecutors had claimed that Amadou was one of a group of people accused of smuggling babies from Nigeria via Benin to wealthy couples in Niger by falsely claiming the parenthood of around 30 children. He insisted the 2017 case against him was politically motivated. The Nigerien government accused demonstrators of causing immense destruction to property… Read full this story
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