Tuesday, 19 October 2010
Niger's junta head fires intelligence chief
Niger's Junta Leader Maj Salou Djibo has fired his intelligence chief following the arrest of several junta members suspected of plotting a coup. There has been no official statement concerning the dismissal of Seyni Chekaraou, but he is said to be very close to former deputy military leader Col Abdoulaye Badie.
Badie was one of those arrested last week. The slits in the junta are a cause for concern as they might compromise the transition to civilian rule. A referendum is due to be held later this month on a constitution that would reduce the power of future presidents, with elections scheduled for January.
The junta, headed by Djibo, has promised to hand power back to civilians before the first anniversary of its ousting of former president Mamadou Tandja. The former head of state was ousted in February after he came under heavy criticism both at home and abroad for changing the constitution to allow him to stay in power for a third term.
Source: BBC News
For more news and expert analysis about the Sahara region, please see Sahara Focus.