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Is it a Coup d'Etat yet? = reports from Mauritania

category international | crime and justice | other press author Wednesday August 03, 2005 12:59author by iosaf Report this post to the editors

the Sub saharan state of Mauritania has seen events in the last 48 hours which suggest a coup d'etat in progress though latest news reports suggest an aborted coup.

The president Maaouya Ould Sid Ahmed Taya is currently in Riad to attend the funeral of the Saudi King.

"Islamist" military officers stationed troops on the street and shut the radio down, Mauritania doesn't really get much telly.
the state borders both Algeria and the disputed Western Sahara "on the other side of the 2,720 km long wall"
the state borders both Algeria and the disputed Western Sahara "on the other side of the 2,720 km long wall"

This is generally how you are felt to start a coup in a state with poor infrastructure and low development.

The leader of the opposition (who lives in exile) Bidi Ould Binu, has told Al Jazeera in Paris that the presidential guard have orchestrated the coup and also that it was expected "for 20 years" and its all Maaouya Ould Sid Ahmed Taya's fault.

It has been 2 years since the last such coup attempt, though the government claims it stopped 2 smaller attempted coups in 2004 when the radio stayed working and there was still a few hours of telly at night.

As it is, it is impossible to tell you at time of writing - if the coup has succeeded or not.

= "Reports are conflicting"

http://www.albawaba.com/en/news/187203
http://www.guardian.co.uk/worldlatest/story/0,1280,-5186444,00.html
http://www.middle-east-online.com/english/?id=14184
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20050803.wmauritania0803/BNStory/International/

If there is a coup, then Bidi Ould Binu will want to return from Paris and play a part, and of course Maaouya Ould Sid Ahmed Taya won't be rushing to fly home from Saudi Arabia. But that's presidential stuff, what we worry about are ordinary people.
They generally divide into three types on such occassions, and one of the first concerns is
"refugees".
Mauritanian refugees would most probably want to go north, which would bring them into either Western Sahara or Algeria. They will find it very difficult to get into Europe because there's a wall and mines between them and us. This is for their safety.

****************************************************
final link to article on events in the Western Sahara July 17 to today with background information and constant updates explaining the most serious process of "destabilisation" in the region.

Related Link: http://www.indymedia.ie/newswire.php?story_id=70928
author by iosafpublication date Wed Aug 03, 2005 18:27author address author phone Report this post to the editors

now I'll be honest with the reader, I'm in the dark on this one - as much as ye are. I do have simcards (the infamous collection) filled with contacts all over the world and many in africa, but every now and again a coup d'etat pops up somewhere i can't verify, [Mauritania is on the list of "very critical situation" states for both journalists and internet activists.]
so I've just to rely on collating news for ye.

& in the last hour it has emerged that president Mouaouiya Sid Ahmed Ould Taya has left Saudi Arabia but hasn't returned home, his presidential jet set down in Niamey the capital of Niger which is a neighbour of Mali which itself borders Mauritania. He is now the guest of the Niger president Mamadou Tandja, and has not so far spoken to journalists. Niger is at present in a famine and extreme crises so Taya isn't really the number one priority in Niamey right now.

The presidential guard, have set up a "military council of justice and democracy" and say they will govern for two years, and will undo the despotism of the Taya regime.

"The Military Council for Justice and Democracy" issued the following statement on the state news agency Ami:

In the name of God, the Merciful, the Gracious.

The national armed forces and security forces have unanimously decided to put a definitive end to the oppressive activities of the defunct authority, which our people have suffered from during the past years.

These activities have led to a severe deviation which has begun to threaten the future of our nation.

The national armed forces and security forces have decided to institute a Military Council for Justice and Democracy.

This council is committed before the Mauritanian people to create the appropriate circumstances for an open and transparent democracy.

This will enable the civil society and all political activists to participate with complete freedom.

Our armed forces and security forces will not rule for longer than the necessary period required to prepare and create the genuine democratic institutions.

This period will not exceed two years at the most.

The council finally confirms Mauritania's commitment to all the international treaties and agreements which it has signed. "

*****************************************************
Now as we know its not official till its on the website, and just coz everyone says its a coup, doesn't mean anything till its on the webpage. & there has been nothing new on the site since august 1.
http://www.mauritania.mr/

author by iosaf - "err, move along there, nothing to see. sort of stuff"publication date Wed Aug 03, 2005 20:36author address author phone Report this post to the editors

If you're a european citizen in mauritania you need a visa unless you're french or i-t-a-l-i-a-n.
The EU is represented by the german embassy, the british do not have an embassy there, and any official EU sounding off will be in german. The french embassy makes up the european diplomatic legations, a total of 2. All other interests on behalf of european citizens are made by "consular" business types who are contactable by via the franco-german legations. As an example, Spain estimates it has between 110 and 120 citizens in the country in a "tranquil" sitaution who are now being advised not leave their houses by the french and german people down there.
But what business could a european citizen have in the islamic republic of Mauritania? [I hear you ask]

The answer is:
Fish & Locusts

For more than a decade now we have as european citizens benefited from fishing stocks along the caost of western africa, the last adjustment to our yearly negotiated quotas was made only a few days ago.
& Last year the EU gave 50,000,000€ to fight locusts in the following countries- Chad, Mali, Mauritania, Niger and Senegal. The worst hit was indeed Mauritania where 1.6 million hectares of crops were eaten by the swarms which can number up to 80 million insects over a square kilometer. In total between 3 and 4 million hectares were eaten, and the funds needed were indeed over double those granted, of which not exactly 100% ever turned up.

To put that in perspective, an area of mauritania 2 and a half times the size of county cork was eaten in less than a week by insects.

Fortuanately for us, those very same insects were stopped on the southern frontier of fortress Europe in the Sahel region of Algeria and the tlemcen region where Algeria and Morocco and Western Sahara meet. Its very hot, and you need special sun protection.

author by Duinepublication date Thu Aug 04, 2005 12:39author address author phone Report this post to the editors

a iosaif,
Ná caill orm anois.
Cad tá ar bun san Máratáin? Gabháil rialtais?

author by iosafpublication date Thu Aug 04, 2005 14:18author address author phone Report this post to the editors

* there are 8 spanish trawlers in mauritania. they're not going anywhere for the moment and are in a different category to the 110/120 legal residents.

* Mauritania has only one jet, the one which flew its president to Saudi Arabia, it is now in Niger, the president has been given a chalet next to the presidential palace in Niamey there after 40 minutes.

* the African Union's chairman the ex president of neighbouring Mali, Alpha Oumar Konaré has joined, the EU, the USA, the European Comission and the UN in condemning the coup. The condemnations are pitched from the standard "against all forceful change of government", to the standard "we are very worried about our nationals because we don't know what's going on".

* in addition to France and Germany, Israel and the USA have diplomatic missions in Mauritania their interests are mostly energy related. (oil).

* The USA is calling for the restoration of the president Taya, the only "international player" which is doing so, as an example the African Union and Spain have leant on the "we are worried about our neighbours and old friends" type of statements. Though mr. Aznar (the jobless) has made a statement condemning muslim fundamenalists, he's a bit like thatcher.

* the leader of the coup is Ely Uld Mohamed Vall a colonel of the army and head of the security forces, (combined army, police and secret services.) In addition to Vall, there are 15 colonels and one captain these include Abderrahman Uld Bubakar of the chief of staff office and Mohamed Uld Abdelaziz chief of the presidential guard. [the council is thus made up of the key military officers in the state].

* the confusion as to what really is going on is reflected by the two versions to be found.
(1) one is the Aznar side, "islamist fundamentalists have taken control and will bring a barbary war upon us quicker than you can say but the little moustachi'oed one said so, why did we leave Iraq and not listen to him about al andaluz?" but on a serious note Aznar has publically sent named messages of support to the leaders of the "democratic" opposition parties in the state.
(2) the other is the reaction of the maghrebi press itself, the Algerians looking at their southward border think the coup calls on such a wide base due to sincere disaffection with the despotism and alledged election frauds which gave Taya 67% of the vote in a country with appaling illiteracy. The moroccans looking to the other state which signed a treaty with polisario and was an active player in the Western Sahara crises, are suggesting that the French are behind it all, noting that Paris has not condemned the coup, but for that matter neither has Morocco. But the moroccans taking a break from criticising the spanish for the sahara are noting that the US has increased its influence in the region to the detriment of the "europeans".

* Mauritania was brought into the Arab Maghreb Union (UMA), by Morocco in the last years which with Algeria, Libya and Tunisia, seeks to build up a strong grouping in the region., This alliance works with, and against "the union of west africa" http://www.uemoa.int/ (a francaphone single currency union entity).

* Oil discoveries in the state attracted the interest and tenders of the french company Total, but most of the contracts have gone to Repsel YTF the spanish state oil company. the Australian Woodside and British Energem companies are also present.

* Mauritania is one of the 18th poorest states on the planet.

* Yesterday there were reports of locals celebrating on the streets, before they even knew who the coup leaders were.

* There are almost no standard roads in the country the routes are called asphalts but are mainly dirt tracks and thus seasonal.

author by Duinepublication date Thu Aug 04, 2005 16:02author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Togha taighde, a iosaif.

author by iosaf - na bac. - (does the gaeilge vocative put an extra "i" in my name?")publication date Thu Aug 04, 2005 19:05author address author phone Report this post to the editors

* there are 30 italians, mostly commercials concentrated in the capital.

* June 4th 2005 there was a terrorist attack on the Lemgheity army base in the north east, claimed by GSPC, [Algerian Salafist group for predication and combat] generally thought of as being an "al Q" alligned saharan terrorist bunch.

*if you check this comment i left june you see the US sent troops and helicopters to the region in response to various things, but locals would connect that assistance with the Salafist action.
http://www.indymedia.ie/newswire.php?story_id=70232&condense_comments=false#comment111181
or to ping it directly :- "US to send army to Mali
http://www.swissinfo.org/sen/swissinfo.html?siteSect=143&sid=5874477&cKey=1118858714000
(in additionThree MH-53 helicopters used by special operations forces are on standby to support the teams in Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Chad and Algeria) It seems upwards of 5000 Us troops are in the state.

* The Oil contracts would begin on Jan 1 2006.
the new regime has said it will honour the contracts of the 20 year Toya regime before, but there are a little less than 6 months for energy executives to perhaps see a renegotiation of terms.

* the majority of the new "council" belong to one ethnic group, the same as the deposed president, Mauritania is on the cusp of arabic/berber and "black" africa.

* & Over on imc uk that old favourite "ex africa correspondent" Henk Ruyssenaars is sure its the americans and jews - as usual. But indications in Israeli press is that they're worried, its one of the only three arab league states they have relations with.

* the french have said that the coup runs counter to the institutions of law.

author by Duinepublication date Fri Aug 05, 2005 10:42author address author phone Report this post to the editors

a iosaif,
Is maith an obair agat an scéal a nochtadh.

Maidir le do cheist:"does the gaeilge vocative put an extra "i" in my name?" Mar a deir an Béarla "Yes" (Cuireann sé).

author by iosafpublication date Fri Aug 05, 2005 17:33author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Running coups in the xxi century is quite a diferent matter to the xx, you know, back then it was just a simple matter of storming a few buildings, in the 1916 style, and waiting to see would you have to fight to hold them. there were a few variations which came along with telly and the wireless, but basically the "how to run a coup" template didn't alter.
Then along came new world order.

* Muhumad VI the alaouite monarch of Morocco has personally intervened and at his suggestion, Mamadu Tanya the president of Nigeria has offered the ousted president Taya exile in Nigeria.

* the US ambassador Joseph Le Baron, met today with the coup leader Ely Uld Mohamed Vall, the leader of the military council for democracy and justice after they dissolved the mauritanian parliament. According to US department of state spokesperson Tom Casey, LeBaron has also spoken with the deposed president Taya in Niger. they are not being very forthcoming about what was said, but have said they naturally support the african union on the restoration of legitamacy.

* the African union has expelled Mauritania.

* no-one is sure, if the G8 aid package offered Mauritania reliant at US insistence on democratic and economic reforms is now history.

* French press suggests that the new Mauritanian regime will cut ties with Israel, which the Taya regime opened. They do this by giving space to the now dissolved opposition parties, both of which wish to those ties ended. This would position the african arab state on the "extreme" side of the impossible caliphate, and see it become a source of regional instability and et cetera et cetera...

* the council have also met with the French, the former colonial power. They (the state) are being very tightlipped, but their media are putting out every possible story, and Algerian media is full of the story, seeing its southern neighbour going "al q-ish". Yet there are no good reasons to make that assumption as of yet.

**************************************************
Today accordingly perhaps , the tv of the region changed in character, moroccan telly screened a program looking at the benefits of spanish tourism & the importance of the month of august to those moroccans who now live in Spain who return for their annual holidays bringing a lot of money with them they also used the spanish language, in a documentary on prisoner issues showing an awards ceremony for well cared for prisoners who use their sentance time to learn how to read, write and sing popular music. Algerian telly aired an old costume drama looking at internicine strife in the sahara in the period before the french.
At the other end of "arabic" affairs, the spanish foreign minister and king arrived in Riad Suadi Arabia to pay respects to the late king, and welcome the new.
At their moment of arrival, the new king was chatting with Mr Cheney and Mr Bush senior. There were warm hugs all round which were televised from Egypt to Morocco to Spain of "the family". A little coup brings them all together.

**************************************************
My main computer has died in the last eight hours, and refuses to begin, going no further than the first black screen, my coverage of this news, and related themes will thus be adversedly effected for the foreseeable future, I'm sorry for any disappointment that may cause. But its very very hot here in Barcelona now, at around 40º as the new climate change african winds come, Portugal is on fire, and its time to go to the mountains. Which is what i'm going to do.
**********************************
If there's a coup in Ireland, I'll go to an internet café & let ye know.
*

author by iosafpublication date Sat Aug 06, 2005 19:49author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Mrs former president and all the baby presidents have left.
Now thats my usual sarcasm, the four Taya children are grown up.
*
Just to colour in a little bit of human interest in all this, yesterday a boat was intercepted and brought to Algeciras, Spain. it was a mauritanian fishing boat and travelling at only one knot per hour was quite easily brought to port. On board the 35metre length "Menavaal 1", 135 hopeful migrants were stowed.
It is the third migrant boat of the august holiday season to be intercepted and reported in the news here. The captain is Senagelese, the crew were mauritanian and the migrants come from India and 13 have declared themselves to be Bangladeshi.
It is said that their route to Spain, and Europe began over a year ago. Imagine whence they have come and in what conditions and most of all ask why? Let us hope that if other migrants like they have come before or will come again and avoid detection, that they don't have children who turn "very religious" but instead find all that our western way of life can offer and truly supply to all its citizens regardless of race, creed, ethnic origin or gender preference, whilst also never losing sight of the room to improve our geopolitical policies as european states in their homelands.

author by iosafpublication date Mon Aug 08, 2005 15:57author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Sidi Mohamed Ould Boubacar is the new mauritanian pm, like several of the coup council he is an "ould". Until last week the 49 year old was living in Paris, he returned on saturday, and after the previous pm Sghair Ould M'Bareck (another ould) presented his and his cabinet's resignation to the military council he got the job.

*There has been a geopolitical shift, which is far more important than most immediately think, we do not normally think that a coup in one of the poorest african nations is so important to us, but the events of the last two months in western africa find their roots in european foreign policy much much deeper, and there are clear connections to a new strategy which is unfolding. A strategy for how Europe and the US will deal with africa, islam, and energy.

author by iosafpublication date Mon Aug 08, 2005 21:00author address author phone Report this post to the editors

has made a speech focussing on Western Sahara and the region in the last day. The US are aligning with the socialist regime of Spain in lowering the diplomatic hostility to Morocco and though reactivating the UN process, .... a geopolitical shift has occured.
one of the effects of which is the importance of the african region.
I look forward to explaining more in a few days. :-)

Related Link: http://www.europapress.es/europa2003/noticia.aspx?cod=20050808134610&tabID=1&ch=66
author by iosafpublication date Wed Aug 10, 2005 11:22author address author phone Report this post to the editors

"The guys running the country right now are the guys we're dealing with, because they're the ones making the decisions and we are trying to get them to make the right decision," said Adam Ereli a US State Department spokesman.

Meanwhile the deposed president Taya has said
"As the president of the republic, I order officers, non-commissioned officers and soldiers of the armed forces and security forces to put an end to this criminal operation". He said that in Niger just before he went to the Gambia, which is a former British possession on the mouth of the Gambia, the river which runs through Senegal the southern neighbour of Mauritania. He is reported by French state TV to be in a hotel in Banjul the capitol of the Gambia preparing an entry to Senegal.

The new regime have released 21 prisoners from the Salafist Algerian combat group, one of the Saharan terrorist groups "linked to Al Q" and responsible for previous attacks in the region.
The prisoners were along with some 60 others held since April 26 in moves by the former president Taya to align Mauritanian domestic policy with the international american led "war on terror". Since the coup many "fundamentalist islamic" voices have expressed their support for the new regime. The released include Mohamed Lahcen ould Dydaw and Mojtar Mohamed ould Musa.

The Algerian and Tunisian governments have both supported the African Union moves to expel the errant state from the international community and their media describe the coup as proceding from the hopes of the "progressive military class" and old brothers in arms of the deposed president, whom he thought foolishly to leave behind. They wonder to what extent the new mauritanian nationalism may work with the new mauritanian islamic fundamentalism, and to what extent the new state will work with or against US policy in the region, where the pentagon had only recently launched its "operation flintlock" a multi-state exercise, and the US is trying to contain "al Q's rearguard".

Their media therefore are begining to speak of a "sudanese" situation on their southern border, and becoming aware that that maghreb will become a "buffer zone" if the subsaharan african states mark out more extremists politics and as a result offer yet more refugees and migrants to Europe. Algerian media is aware of the fortification of the British embassy this week and sees in that a signal of a changing "african" perspective from the north.

author by Duinepublication date Wed Aug 10, 2005 16:56author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Maith thú, a iosaif as súil ghéar a choinneáil ar an "dtír cúil" seo.
Is iontach go deo amharc ar Pholaitíocht Dhomhanda a imirt sa tír seo

author by iosafpublication date Sat Aug 13, 2005 20:54author address author phone Report this post to the editors

* Caracas is reported as extending complete support to the Western Sahara and the little community (of mostly berber ethnic origin) of Sidi Ifni a seperate former Spanish possession which was ceded to morocco in 1969, the locals of Sidi Ifni have demostrated recently expressing their wish to be included amongst the Saharawi in any future settlement.

* In addition the Chavez regime are giving 3,000,000$ to Mauritania, Niger and Burkino Faso (all 3 states amongst the 18 which qualified for Bob Geldof's make poverty history G8 conference 2005), the venezualens believe the people of mauritania, niger and burkino faso need the money for food. Venezuela's newly appointed "african affairs minister" Reinaldo Bolívar met with Niger's Habi Mahamadou Salissou, who thanked Venezuala for its assistance to the region of which 1.5 million$ is for Niger alone, and curiously enough matches the funds cleared by Ireland for the same country.

* Said Kamal, of the Arab League has met with the military regime of mauritinia and the new government and indications are of a "normal continuing relationship".

* Of the 24 ministers appointed to the "interim government" of Mauritania, 3 are women and hold the portfolios for "health & social issues", "Youth & Sport" and "women's issues".

author by RobbieSpublication date Mon Aug 15, 2005 18:49author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Some of these points may be of interest.

1. To call Western Sahaa disputed territory is reminiscent of Israel’s terminology on Palestine. Sahrabwe was invaded by Morocco in 1976 for phosphates. They have promised a referendum on unification to the UN since 1988, but keep postponing it till the Moroccan migrant population outnumber the locals – half of whom are refugees in south-western Algeria with the dormont Polisario rebels. This is the ‘process’ that Spain and Morocco have reportedly reopened.

2. Sidi Ifni is just 60 miles by sea to the east of Lanzarote in the Canarys. I thought I’d get someone to take me there for interviews, but the Moroccans I spoke to thought I was soliciting them with my microphone. I’ve since learnt a little more Arabic, but not enough.


3. Refugees from Mauritania will probably move south. Racist rule by Arab over Black-African minorities is institutionalised – a bit like Darfur if the Janja Wid had they’re way. Human Rights Watch also brings out reports on continued slave-trading in the region.

4 Listening to a BBC Radio documentary on the terrorist threat from the Sahara last week, it appears that the enemy is a phantom one – in part dredged up by Mali, Algeria and ex-Mauritania to get more military $Uss. The GSPC has now become synonymous with the Algerian military intelligence. In a recent attack on GSPC, the locals said there were US soldiers in the hellicopters, and details of casualties were never forthcoming despite repeated journalistic requests. The locals say they have not seen GSPC have not been seen in the area for a long time. It is thought that Algerian military shot up cigarette smugglers to impress the US reps.

In the same programme, a US commander speaking from Stutgart airbase in Germany, said its known that al-Quaeda operate in the region and are allied with the Salafists, because of sources he can’t disclose. When pushed, he said he’d read it on an Islamist website, but then clammed up once more when the interviewer pointed out that anyone can post up to a message board.

5. As Iosaf mentioned, Israel has/had a diplomatic mission there along with the US. Mauritania’s defunct regime opened diplomatic relations with Israel, only in 1999 – the year of the Algerian amnesty/cease-fire. Is there a link between this and the phantom GSPC which was set up in 1998 as an offshoot of the Algerian Islamist GIA. Remembers the origins of Hamas and Mossad.

The new regime led by Ely Ould Mohammed Vall (good oul’ val to his friends), is on the Conservative side of enigmatic. 20 Islamist prisoners are released for lack of evidence (better than Guantanamo), but keeps diplomatic relations with Israel and says that the foreign policy will be one of continuity.

6. Oil begins to be pumped from Mauritania next year.

for the documentary on terrorism – incl. Algeria and the GSPC
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/programmes/documentary_archive/4131336.stm

for the enigmatic conservatism of the new regime
http://za.today.reuters.com/news/newsArticle.aspx?type=topNews&storyID=2005-08-12T120703Z_01_ALL243506_RTRIDST_0_OZATP-MAURITANIA-20050812.XML

for Mossad’s links with Hamas
http://stommel.tamu.edu/~baum/ethel/2002_03_31_ethel-archive.html
or http://www.globalresearch.ca/articles/ZER403A.html
this one’s interesting about general Mossad tactics but is less empirical.
http://www.the7thfire.com/new_world_order/zionism/mossad/lavon_affair.htm

for the only indymedia article to come up on google news :-(
http://argentina.indymedia.org/news/2005/08/314446.php
IOD’s writing is far better though.

author by iosafpublication date Tue Aug 16, 2005 13:49author address author phone Report this post to the editors

* Ely Uld Mohamed, the leader of the junta, turns out to have a relationship with the previous Spanish government. He met with the ZP regime in February of 2005. According to the spanish business newspaper Expansion, Uld mohamed visited Spain a a dozen times in the last three years, his most busy year being 2003, when he visited the police academy in ávila in August and promised to set up the same type of facilities at home. Careful readers will remember he was before the coup d'etat the head of the Mauritanian security forces. & it appears Aznar's regime liked him, in September of 2003 the then minister Angel Acebes gave him The "police cross of merit" (with a red bar), for co-operation in the control of illegal migration, an honour not yet given any other african security worker. It thus seems that Ely Uld Mohamed has a close relationship with the CNI, or Spanish secret service.

* the new minister of economic development of Mauritania Mohamed Uld Abes, was received by Mohamad VI of Morocco in Tetuán in the presence of Mohamed Benaissa, the Moroccan foreign minister and Yasín Mansuri of the Moroccan secret service. In a statement afterwards both countries looked forward to a closer relationship between the "brother maghreb" countries.

* The regional government of the Canary islands (Spain) has announced an aid package of 1.45million€ to non governmental agencies working principally in both Morocco and Mauritania to fulfil 21 outstanding social development projects, a small part of the money is earmarked for similar development projects in.... Venezuala.

* Official figures suggest the human traficking route through Mauritania which brings sub saharan africans and more from further afield (see above comments where migrants were brought from Bangladesh to Spain through the Sahara) is down on last year. Notwithstanding, since the beginning of August alone, i have noticed over 200 migrants detained in Spanish waters the last aboard a small raft this morning in the Canary's two aboard were dead

*** This is relevent to the Sahara thread, but not important enough to be appended there yet.
http://www.indymedia.ie/newswire.php?story_id=70928
But Ahmed Haggouni, leader of the "rightwing" Western Sahara party, Istiqlal, has warned in an interview with Canary island TV that an independent Western Sahara if created now, would open the way for a local "bin laden" and bode ill for the people of the Canaries. You may understand "rightwing" party, as those who favour more alignment with commercial interests, phosphate trading, oil exploration and generally the sort of people who wear suits and read business papers and have their visas in order. They still support the "autonomy" of the region though.

author by iosafpublication date Thu Aug 18, 2005 19:41author address author phone Report this post to the editors

* Alejandro Polanco Mata the spanish ambassador to Mauritania was on holidays when the coup occured. It has emerged today that he has not received official word to return to his post, the current ZP regime though condemning the coup have not been that tough, in comparision to Aznar who has been the hardest of all, even though as you'll see from the last comment, he has had a good relationship with the current man in charge.

*the european presence (at "risk" be it low) in mauritania now appears to be mostly the crew of the spanish trawlers. Who are still there but say they are "working in complete normality".

* The African union new rotating president nigerian Olusegun Obasanjo has called on the junta to restore constitutionalism a.s.a.p. mauritania will remain expelled from the AU until it does.

* further afield, the colombians have taken an interest in the region, following their neighbour (and rival and some would say political opposites) Venezuala's of last week. Their media spelling out a certain uneasiness that the islamist links (salafist) are not just rumours, but true...


updates on western sahara:-
http://www.indymedia.ie/newswire.php?story_id=70928&condense_comments=false#comment118888

author by rsfpublication date Fri Sep 02, 2005 16:44author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Only a week ago the Secretary General of the UN asked that all states allow the safe passage of journalists and directed his general comments to the nisurgents of Iraq in particular.
Today the US army confirmed that they shot 2 reuters personel.

Mauritania alng with China and Zimbabwe is at the bottom of the global index of information including print, tv and internet activity.

the people in rsf have written to the new regime hoping things will get better.

http://www.rsf.org/article.php3?id_article=14866

author by msfpublication date Fri Oct 07, 2005 18:49author address author phone Report this post to the editors

have located at least 500 african migrants, described as "Sub-saharans" abandoned in the desert on route to Mauritania (look at the map above). They had been driven there by Moroccan police after attempting to cross into the European Union through Spain in the last month.

24 of the people in this discovery have already died of thirst, many others are seriously injured.

There is every reason to believe that there are many more out there, now dying in the desert for the European dream.

It is little wonder that Africa didn't get the Nobel peace prize this year.

the UN charter on Human Rights has been broken by the kingdom of Morocco.

Related Link: http://www.msf.es/noticias/noticias_basicas/2005/MarruecosMSFlocalizaaunabolsademsde500inmigrantes.asp
author by iosafpublication date Fri Feb 16, 2007 14:30author address author phone Report this post to the editors

a passenger jet of Air Mauritania (whose regime change & bits and bobs I've collated above) carrying 71 passengers and 8 crew was hijacked (by one person it is implied counting the arrest) and first headed for Western Sahara (whose problems you can learn about using our search engine).
The Moroccans refused it permission to land - so it went to the Canary islands with some reports indicating the hijacker wanted to go to paris. Still - a short joy-flight. The Spanish airforce brought the plane to Gando military base - easy enough for them - Mauritania's new regime gave them surprisingly extensive powers to police Mauritanian waters & airspace which just gives me the opportunity to remind everyone about Western Sahara as well as Mauritania. But most people watching telly last night just saw it as a frothy distraction from car adverts & wall to wall coverage of Madrid's security show for the trial. Police in tanks, helicopters, at barricades, handing out mint tea and honeyed sweets to small migrant chilldren, dancing semi-naked in the weak spring time sun.
The time allotted to victims of M11 be they family members of wounded was about 20% of the time given to politicians to tell us what they thought. The Mauritanian hijack story will now disappear.
but it's logged here.

report from bbc which will not disappear over the months -
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/africa/6366781.stm?ls

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