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Niger’s coup junta appoints former economy minister as new “PM”

By Xinhua

   NIAMEY, Aug. 8 (Xinhua) -- Ali Mahaman Lamine Zeine, Niger's former economy minister, has been named as the new "prime minister" by the coup junta, Niger's news agency ANP reported on Monday.
   The junta's spokesperson made the announcement on television late Monday night.
   Born in 1965 in Zinder, Lamine Zeine was minister of finance for former President Mahamadou Tandja before joining the African Development Bank, of which he was the representative in Chad until his appointment, the report said.
   Niger's soldiers ousted President Mohamed Bazoum on July 26, hours after the Nigerien president was allegedly held hostage.
   The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), a regional bloc comprising 15 West African nations, and the West African Economic and Monetary Union (UEMOA) met on July 30 in Abuja, the capital of Nigeria, and decided to impose economic and financial sanctions in response to the military coup in Niger. The junta has been given a one-week ultimatum to restore constitutional order, with the possibility of military intervention if non-compliance persists.
   Abdourahamane Tchiani, head of the National Council for the Safeguard of the Homeland (CNSP) in Niger, rejected those sanctions on Aug. 2.
   U.S. Acting Deputy Secretary of State Victoria Nuland paid an urgent visit to Niamey to meet Niger's coup leaders on Aug. 7, hoping to get a negotiated solution to the crisis but in vain.  Enditem
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