Senegal to send FM to Niger following coup: official

15:57, February 19, 2010      

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Senegalese President Abdoulaye Wade announced on Thursday night that he was sending his foreign minister to Niger, where President Mamadou Tandja and several cabinet ministers were captured by soldiers in a military coup.

"I will send the Foreign Affairs minister as my emissary to Niger," he noted without giving the specific date of his departure.

Wade, who was reacting in his capacity as the mediator from the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) in the Nigerien crisis, termed the events happening in the country as very "sad."

He said the Nigerien opposition had sought for the sending of an envoy and that he had already spoken to the ECOWAS acting president, interim Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan, about his plans.

He also pointed out that the solution to the crisis in Niger would be the drafting of a new constitution.

The military junta in Niger suspended the constitution of "the 6th Republic" on Thursday night, only months after Tandja put it in place to extend his tenure. His act to nullify the original constitution sparked tensions, in which the African Union and ECOWAS suspended the country.

Wade was named as the mediator in Niger's crisis by his West African counterparts at the 37th ECOWAS summit held Tuesday in the Nigerian capital Abuja .

Source: Xinhua
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