AU lifts suspension on Niger By ARGAW ASHINE in Addis Ababa | Wednesday, March 16  2011 at  20:17

Mahamadou Issoufou of the Social Democratic Party acknowledges the crowd during a campaign meeting in Niamey on on March 8, 2011. AFRICA REVIEW | FILE 

The African Union has lifted its suspension against Niger following a successful poll conducted over the weekend.

AU Peace and Security Council Wednesday reviewed the reports from West Africa regional bloc and other partners about the conduct of the poll and decided to lift the suspension on Niger.

The union commended the calm and wisdom and high sense of responsibility exhibited by the people of Niger before and during the elections, and the proclamation of results.

AU congratulated the president elect, Mr Mahamadou Issoufou, for his victory and reiterated its deep appreciation to General Salou Djibo, Head of State and Chairman of the Supreme Council for the Restoration of Democracy (CSRD).

According to AU Peace and Security chief, Mr Ramaten Lamamaran, Niger now enjoys a full participation in the union's activities and theirs will be noted as one of the success stories of the pan-African organisation.

AU suspended Niger on February 2010 after the crisis triggered by then president Mamadou Tandja's bid to hold onto office after the end of his mandate.

A military junta ousted president Tandja’s and formed a council to lead the country.

The European Union has also resumed its development aid to Niger and hailed the election as a milestone and a road back to democracy.