Niger facing famine, millions at risk -- president

Sun Feb 28, 2010 9:53pm GMT

* Junta boss Djibo says he will fight corruption and abuses

* He says famine threatens millions in all parts of Niger

* Vow to restore democracy, but no date

By David Lewis and Abdoulaye Massalatchi

NIAMEY, Feb 28 (Reuters) - Millions of people are threatened by famine in Niger, the new military ruler said on Sunday in a message that contrasted starkly with his predecessor's reluctance to talk about food shortages.

Major Salou Djibo, who ousted President Mamadou Tandja in a coup on Feb. 18, also said the junta was committed to tackling impunity, corruption and the abuse of power during an unspecified transitional period before promised elections.

The coup, as well as subsequent promises to clear up Niger's politics and business, have been well received in the West African nation.

But the international community, which criticised the coup, fears that a return to civilian rule could be delayed by an open-ended attempt to attack corruption.   Continued...

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