Nigerien president forms new govt

Source:Xinhua Published: 2013-8-14 17:01:18

Nigerien President Issoufou Mahamadou on Tuesday night signed a decree authorizing a reshuffle of the government, the government's secretary general said on national television.

He said the new team which will be "a government of national unity," will be comprised of not only members of the ruling coalition, but also members of the opposition parties grouped under the Alliance for National Reconciliation (ARN).

The new government will have a total of 37 members, against the previous figure of 26. Ten members of the previous team left government, while 18 new members have entered the government.

Niger's Prime Minister Brigi Rafini as well as several other close confidants of President Isssoufou have maintained their positions. Key positions in government have also been given to the president's key allies.

Bazoum Mohamed remains the foreign minister while Karidjo Mahamadou was retained as the defense minister. Hassoumi Massoudou who was an aide to the president will now take over the interior ministry.

The new government has five women, against six in the previous government.

The formation of the "government of national unity" after several weeks of consultations, was justified on Aug. 2 by the Nigerien president in a message to the Nation.

"The security challenges that Niger has faced since the attacks in Agadez and Arlit on May 23, demanded that Nigeriens remain united and work together in a government of national unity," he told the nation.

Posted in: Africa

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