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  • Des interviews exclusives de Dja-Apharou ISSA IBRAHIM, ami et confident de Jacques Baulin, responsable par donation de l’intégralité des documents constituant le fond, et président de l’association sont actuellement publiées dans la rubrique présentation.

  • Les trois ouvrages de J. Baulin : Conseiller du président Diori, La politique africaine d’Houphouët-Boigny et La politique intérieure d’Houphouët-Boigny seront disponibles sur le site en version iBook et en version Pdf dès septembre 2009.

POLITICAL WISDOM IS NIGER’S WEALTH

By Llewellyn Chanter

Accidents sometimes happen in the best diplomatic circles to bring benefit when they are bring benefit when they are most needed . Such an accident , from the point of view of timing , is the presence in London of President Hamani Diori of the Niger Republic precisely when Mr. Wilson retourns from his Nigerian mission .

The official visit here was planned many months ago and certainly before Mr. Wilson conceived the economically great Commonwealth country bordered on its nortern frontier by one of the poorest of the former French colonies and , ideed , of any country on the African continent .

Niger on its northern flanks , digs deep into the Sahara with all the consequent problems of maintaining some kind of maintaining some kind of life for its inhabitants . Southerly , it had its affinities with the great Hausa trible of northern Nigeria where nearly balf of the population of Niger lives .

For over a quarter of the population of four million who live a nomadie life the Gouvernement is stili trying to provide permanent homes . Undoubtedly the country has great mineral deposits still untaped but , Jandjocked as it is , the unsolved problem is to find means for their exploitation and then to transport them to the sea .

Independent policy

By any standars , Niger is perturious . By any standards it has the greatest political weatch in the personality and acumen of its President .

In all the French-speaking countries of Africa , those which still cluster around « La France » of President de Gaulle , Niger is the most independent , with a world outlook , through the eyes of its President , which is far from parochial

When President de Gaulle returned to power in 1958 , President Diori took advantage of the accelerated pace of Wes :Africa polities . The referendum of 1958 , whereby the former French Union was to he peplaced by the French Community , was immediately seen by President Diori as a means of replacing colonialism by interdependence between France and her African possessions . He threw his weight behind an affirmative vote , and in 1960 opted for full independence .

In African politics he has always been regarded as one of the most moderate , and yet resolute . He is Head of the 14 French-speaking States (OCAM) , and on behalf of an even greater association of similar States , including Burundi , Mauritania , Somalia and Mali , undertook last year a tour of the Common Market . No one in the whole of the Africain continent speaks with such authority in the name of the name of the many Africans .

Against secession

President Diori has remained firm in his belief in « One Nigeria » . despite the pro-Biafrain position taken up by both President de Gaulle and President Houphouet-Boigny of the Ivory Coast ,who has throwa in the his lot with the Biafran secessionists . He has stood firm againsts any recognition of the Communist China despite the attitude of Paris , and again , despite President de Gaulle , he hasq backed Israel in the United Nations .

He was the only African leader to bring about a meeting at Niamey Between Gen . Gowon , the Federal Nigerian Leader , and Col . Ojukwu, the Biafran leader , abortive thougn that meeting unfortunately was . In another sphere he was big enougn to accept a gift of Canadian grain despite pressures put upon him by Paris , and despite the fast that his old friend , the President of the Ivory Coast , preferred to forgo such a gift .

English lessons

Among all the African "Heads of State , with the possible exception of Emperor Haile Selassie of Ethiopia , President Diori might well rank as the only leader capable of bringing about an Anglo-French entente in Africa . For the past four years he has had English lessons , and is now capable of holding his own with Mr. Wilson and the other British Ministers .

Daily Expres 1/4/69

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