|August 12, 2004|
Posted: August 17, 2004
Moussa Kaka, Radio Saraounya FM
Gendarmes arrested Kaka, director of the private radio station Saraounya FM and a correspondent for Radio France-Internationale, after Saraounya FM broadcast an interview with self-proclaimed rebel leader Mohammed Boula the previous day, according to local journalists. Kaka was held for questioning, and his home and office were searched.
Boula presented himself in the interview as the leader of a new Touareg rebel group that claimed responsibility for an August 10 attack on three buses traveling along a road in the northern part of the country. The attack killed three people and injured 11, according to international news reports. Two police officers were also kidnapped during the incident.
Kaka was released without charge on August 16, but he was ordered to remain available to police, according to local journalists and international news reports.
DECEMBER 20, 2004
January 18, 2005
Police seized equipment and the entire print run-about 1,000 copies-of the December 21 edition of the private weekly Le Témoin, which is based in the capital, Niamey. The edition would have coincided with the inauguration of newly re-elected President Mamadou Tandja. The police confiscated the paper to avoid any "bad press" for the West African state, a senior police official told Agence France-Presse.
According to local and international news reports, the seizure stemmed from a report in that issue of Le Témoin on three soldiers and a gendarme held hostage for several months by former ethnic Tuareg rebel fighters in the north of the country. According to local sources, Tuareg combatants are still active in Niger despite 1995 peace accords with the government. The government said the kidnapping and other attacks were carried out by "armed bandits."
The report in Le Témoin included photographs and interviews with the hostages and the rebels, the paper's managing editor, Ibrahim Soumana Gaoh, told Radio France Internationale.