- Members of the Niger's military are making an advance vote today, ahead of tomorrow’s controversial national referendum on President Mamadou Tandja's attempt to change the constitution to enable him run a third term.
Tuesday will be the day for the referendum, which could change Niger’s constitution, abolishing terms of services for the president. Opposition parties have widely described the move as an insult to democracy.
Mr Tandja was due to leave office in December this year, but has somersaulted dissolving parliament and ignoring the ruling by the highest court of the country in his bid to run for the third term.
He has defended his move saying the people want to him to stay in office.
The bid has seen a series of protests, with the opposition parties calling on their supporters to boycott the referendum.
The 71 years old Mr Tandja was first elected in 1999 and has stayed in power for his full two terms.
His move has also received a blanket international condemnation, but on Friday, the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, urged the people of Niger to refrain from violence and exercise the utmost restraint.
Mr Ban “reiterates his support for an inclusive process to resolve the current crisis peacefully and in conformity with the country's democratic values,” a statement issued by his spokesperson read.
Mr Ban also said he was concerned that the referendum was taking place, “despite sharp differences among the country's political stakeholders,” and he urged all sides in the impoverished West African country to show restraint.
“The United Nations stands ready to support initiatives that would help resolve the current situation in a peaceful and sustainable manner,” he added.
afrol News - It is called "financial inclusion", and it is a key government policy in Rwanda. The goal is that, by 2020, 90 percent of the population is to have and actively use bank accounts. And in only four years, financial inclusion has doubled in Rwanda.
afrol News - The UN's humanitarian agencies now warn about a devastating famine in Sudan and especially in South Sudan, where the situation is said to be "imploding". Relief officials are appealing to donors to urgently fund life-saving activities in the two countries.
afrol News - Fear is spreading all over West Africa after the health ministry in Guinea confirmed the first Ebola outbreak in this part of Africa. According to official numbers, at least 86 are infected and 59 are dead as a result of this very contagious disease.
afrol News - It is already a crime being homosexual in Ethiopia, but parliament is now making sure the anti-gay laws will be applied in practical life. No pardoning of gays will be allowed in future, but activist fear this only is a signal of further repression being prepared.
afrol News / Africa Renewal - Ethiopia's ambitious plan to build a US$ 4.2 billion dam in the Benishangul-Gumuz region, 40 km from its border with Sudan, is expected to provide 6,000 megawatts of electricity, enough for its population plus some excess it can sell to neighbouring countries.