Niger opposition leader Hama Amadou jailed over unrest

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Niger's former premier Hama Amadou (C) casts his vote at a polling station, on March 12, 2011 in Niamey. The people of Niger voted for a new civilian president today in landmark polls that the outgoing head of the military junta said should serve as an example of democracy to the whole of Africa. The run-off pits veteran opposition leader Mahamadou Issoufou, 59, against former prime minister Seini Oumarou, the 60-year-old leader of Tandja's party. Social Democratic Party leader Issoufou has strengthened his candidacy by forging alliances, especially with Hama Amadou, another former premier under Tandja who garnered 19 percent in the first round vote. AFP PHOTO SEYLLOU (Photo credit should read SEYLLOU/AFP via Getty Images)

Hama Amadou, Nigerien opposition leader and former prime minister, is accused of being behind the deadly unrest in Niamey, Niger, and has been taken to prison after three days in police custody.

Niger’s former premier Hama Amadou (C) casts his vote at a polling station, on March 12, 2011 in Niamey.  (Photo credit should read SEYLLOU/AFP via Getty Images)

According to the prosecutor’s services, Amadou Hama was placed under arrest warrant at Filingué prison in Niamey for the demonstrations that erupted in the country following the proclamation of the presidential results.

He is also accused of regionalist propaganda and statements likely to pit people against each other.

Other detainees linked to the unrest following the proclamation of the provisional results of the February 21st presidential runoff have also been placed under warrant of committal.

Amadou was banned from contesting because of a conviction for baby trafficking, a charge he says was politically motivated. He then threw his support behind the only other candidate in the run-off vote Mahamane Ousmane, who garnered 44.25 percent.

Official preliminary results said that Mohamed Bazoum, the appointed successor of incumbent Mahamadou Issoufou, scored 55.7 percent of votes, while Ousmane came in second.

Amadou had once been considered the main opposition contender to run against Bazoum.

(With input from agencies)

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