NIAMEY, 27 February 2021 – The home of a Radio France International (RFI) correspondent in Niger has been attacked and burnt in post-election violence.
Moussa Kaka and his family were not harmed in the attack, but their house was badly damaged.
RFI on Friday said Kaka was targeted simply because he is a journalist who was doing his job, the French broadcaster said in statement, condemning the attack.
“This is a very serious attack on the freedom of the press,” the statement read in part.
“Moussa Kaka has already been subjected to numerous threats, including cyber-harassment by unknown individuals at the end of last year, and has already filed a complaint,” the statement continued.
Reporters Without Borders (RSF) said Kaka has been dealing with death threats for more than two months.
The correspondent has recived more than 1,000 death threats, according to Arnaud Froger, the head of RSF’s Africa desk..
Kaka “had already filed a complaint back in December and nothing has happened so far,” Froger said on an interview with the Voice of America.
The country’s electoral commission declared the country’s former interior minister, Mohamed Bazoum, and flagbearer of the ruling party, the winner of the ballot based on provisionary results.
Bazoum, 61, is all but certain to succeed outgoing President Mahamdou Issoufou, who is stepping down after completing his second five-year term – the maximum allowed under Niger’s constitution.
The opposition candidate Mahamane Ousmane, who is also a former president of Niger (1993 to 1996), has challenged the results, alleging fraud.
The election results must be certified by the country’s constitutional court to be final, but tensions have been high in the country ever since the electoral commission gave the ballot to Bazoum.
At least two people have died in post-election violence in Niger, according to the government, which adds that hundreds have been arrested and several houses and buildings have been set on fire.
Opposition supporters and pro-Ousmane youths burnt tyres in the streets of the capital, Niamey, shortly after the provisionary results were announced on national radio and television.
In a related story, one of Niger’s leading opposition figures, Hama Amadou, who supported Ousmane in the presidential runoff but has been accused of inciting violence, reportedly turned himself in to the police late Friday.
He was banned from running in the last ballot because of a conviction for baby trafficking, which he says was politically motivated.