U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Friday condemned a coup in Niger and called on the new authorities to make good on promises to restore constitutional order.
In a carefully balanced statement issued by his press office, Ban also took aim at captured President Mamadou Tandja for having sought to stay in office beyond his second term.
Ban "condemns the coup d'etat that took place in Niger," the statement said, and "reiterates his disapproval of unconstitutional changes of government as well as attempts to remain in power through unconstitutional means."
The coup on Thursday in the West African uranium-producing nation has drawn international condemnation. It followed months of heightened tensions over Tandja's constitutional reform in 2009, which extended his rule beyond the end of his second term, which expired in December.
Troops who seized power and captured Tandja in the coup set up what they called a Supreme Council for the Restoration of Democracy.
Ban took note of a statement by the council that it intended to restore constitutional order and urged the body "to proceed swiftly with these efforts through a process that is consensual and that includes all segments of Nigerien society."
"The secretary-general appeals for calm and for the respect of law and of the human rights of all Nigeriens," the statement said, adding that the U.N. would work closely with the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and the African Union to resolve the crisis.
ReutersLast Mod: 20 Şubat 2010, 16:12