Niger junta names transitional government ahead of ECOWAS summit

Niger junta names transitional government ahead of ECOWAS summit

Cabinet composed of 21 ministers including army officers, civilians

By James Tasamba

KIGALI, Rwanda (AA) - Gen. Abdourahamane Tchiani, who led last month’s military coup in Niger, unveiled a 21-member Cabinet on Thursday, naming transitional Prime Minister Ali Mahaman Lamine Zeine as his finance minister.

Zeine, 58, also served as finance minister under Mamadou Tandja, late Niger president who led the country from 1999 to 2010 after the country’s return to civilian rule.

He was appointed the country’s transitional prime minister earlier this week.

Until recently, he served as the resident representative of the African Development Bank (AfDB) in Chad.

Tchiani, the former commander of Niger's presidential guard, who declared himself the head of a transitional government after the military coup that overthrew President Mohamed Bazoum on July 26, named Lt. Gen. Salifou Mody as the defense minister, while Bakary Yaou Sangary has been appointed the foreign minister.

In other appointments, Col. Amadou Abdramane, the junta spokesperson, has been named youth and sports minister.

The transitional government was named as leaders of the Economic Community of West African State (ECOWAS) are due to meet Thursday for a second emergency summit in Nigeria to discuss the political crisis in Niger, after coup leaders ignored an ultimatum to cede power.

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