Niger inaugurates president in 1st democratic energy switch

Bazoum succeeds President Mahamadou Issoufou who’s stepping down after serving two phrases, in accordance with Niger’s structure. Issoufou’s choice to respect the structure has been extensively hailed and paves the way in which for Niger’s first peaceable, democratic switch of energy since its independence from France in 1960. The West African nation has seen 4 coups.

Bazoum pledged to be “the elected President for all Nigeriens” throughout his inauguration speech Friday. Whereas promising to protect the unity and brotherhood of the Nigerien folks, President Bazoum stated he was ready to take care of with the leaders of the opposition “the constructive dialogue obligatory to advertise a peaceable political local weather, favorable to the pursuits of our nation.”

His major election rival, Mahamane Ousmane, has rejected election outcomes claiming fraud. Supporters for Ousmane have held mass demonstrations.

“I can be a President of the Republic within the service of peace, progress and happiness of the Nigerien folks” and of the African continent, Bazoum stated.

Bazoum is Issoufou’s chosen successor and a longtime Cupboard minister who’s from Niger’s small ethnic Arab minority. He was a former inside minister in Niger and can be a instructor by coaching.

Fears, nonetheless, have been mounting that the inauguration might immediate extra violence in Niger. The most recent bloodbath killing not less than 137 folks got here on the identical day the constitutional courtroom licensed Bazoum’s electoral victory. And not less than 100 others have been killed in villages close to the border on the day that Niger introduced the presidential election would go to a second spherical on Feb. 21.

Safety was tight Friday within the capital, Niamey.

U.S. State Division spokesman Ned Value congratulated the newly inaugurated president.

“America congratulates Nigerien President Mohamed Bazoum on his inauguration, marking an historic switch of energy from one democratically elected president to the following. This can be a vital milestone for Niger’s democracy,” in keeping with the assertion. “We worth the sturdy relationship between the US and Niger and sit up for working with President Bazoum’s administration to broaden bilateral relations together with within the areas of improvement, humanitarian help, safety, and commerce.”

The U.S. additionally stays involved by the latest outbreak of violence within the capital, and condemns “any try to undermine Niger’s democratically elected authorities,” in keeping with the assertion.

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