The new military government of Niger, led by Lieutenant-Colonel Seyni Kountche held a rally in the capital, Niamey, on Wednesday (24 April) to outline its policies.
GV PAN Kountche and military leaders walk to table in field as crowds look on (2 shots)
MV Kountche seated between other military leaders (2 shots)
GV Kountche and leaders seated as crowd looks on (2)
SV & CU Kountche speaking (2 shots)
CU's military personnel listening (2 shots)
MV Kountche speaking
Initials SC/013 SC/029
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: The new military government of Niger, led by Lieutenant-Colonel Seyni Kountche held a rally in the capital, Niamey, on Wednesday (24 April) to outline its policies.
Colonel Kountche was flanked by his new ministers; Major Siddo, Minister of the Interior; Major Harcuna, Minister of Labour and Public Service; Colonel Yacouba, Minister of Education, and Lieutenant Haskel, Minister of Information. The 12 man Cabinet is composed entirely of army officers.
The afternoon was declared a holiday to enable the people of Niamey to listen to the government ministers' speeches.
Earlier in the week Colonel Kountche announced that a Commission of Inquiry was to be made into the regime of the former Niger President, Hemani Diori, who was toppled in the coup. His wife Madame Aissa Diori, was among the ten people officially reported killed in the revolt on 15 April led by Colonel Kountche, the Army Chief of Staff. Other sources put the death toll at 100. The new government says the former President is safe and well.
In an earlier policy speech, Colonel Kountche said the country's code of investments would remain in force. He said the country's mineral resources (mainly uranium) would be developed "in the framework of the country's development". Bilateral links would be strengthened and the country would remain faithful to the Arab cause in the Middle East.
Commenting on the prolonged drought in the north of Niger, Colonel Kountche said the Supreme Military Council would take over the organisation of aid to stricken areas "so that people no longer die just a few kilometres from food and help".