UN African officials meet with coup leaders during mission to Niger

Participating in yesterday’s visit were the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for West Africa, Said Djinnit, as well as representatives of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and the African Union (AU). “The mission met with the junta leaders who reaffirmed their commitment to organize elections and return the country to constitutional order,” UN spokesperson Martin Nesirky told reporters in New York. He added that the UN is working closely with its partners, including ECOWAS and the AU, as part of its joint efforts to help resolve the crisis in the country which began when renegade soldiers reportedly stormed the presidential palace on Thursday with the stated aim of returning Niger to democracy.On Friday, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon condemned the coup and appealed for “calm and for the respect of the rule of law and of the human rights of all Nigeriens.” In addition, he stressed the UN stands ready to support initiatives aimed at peacefully resolving Niger’s political and constitutional crisis. 22 February 2010A joint mission of United Nations and African officials have met with those responsible for last week’s coup d’état in Niger as they visited the capital, Niamey, to assess the situation on the ground.