Group warns Mauritania against violence

2011-09-29 22:34

Dakar - The African Encounter for the Defence of Human Rights (Raddho) on Thursday urged Mauritania's government to opt for dialogue over a census under way and to reject "blind police violence".

One man has been killed and at least 15 others have been injured, according to Mauritanian rights groups, in southern Mauritania since September 24 during clashes between police and black opponents of the census.

Raddho, which is based in Dakar, said in a statement that it was "very preoccupied by the clashes between Mauritanian security forces and black Mauritanian demonstrators of the 'Don't Touch My Nationality' movement".

The dead man was shot and killed by police when they were breaking up a rally at Maghama in the south of the country on Tuesday, a security official who asked not to be named told AFP.

The Don't Touch My Nationality movement claims that one aim of the census is to deprive black Mauritanians of their citizenship, while the Nouakchott government denies this and says the goal is to give the country a modern, accurate biometric census.

Raddho said that "blind police violence... brings back bad memories of the regime of [Maaouiya] Ould Taya", the Mauritanian president overthrown in 2005 after 21 years in power, when he was accused of atrocities against the non-Arab populations of the country making up about 20% of the three million Mauritanians.

The rights body "invites the Mauritanian government to give priority to inclusive dialogue, as it did" in the days following Ould Taya's rule to reconcile the country.

Apart from Maghama and Kaedi in the south, demonstrations against the census have taken place in the capital Nouakchott and other towns by people who want the exercise stopped. The government has stated that it needs a new system of identifying citizens after promulgating a new Civil Code in 2010.

Read more on:    mauritania  |  west africa

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24


Millions of plastic particles in our food!

Scientists and researchers believe that almost five million tons of plastic is dumped in the oceans every year and it’s affecting our food.



Plastic on your plate
Prince George the green prince?
Lean, green, drifiting machine
One man's $1 million vision for an eco Africa

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts

It may be hard to maintain a steady rhythm as you find yourself juggling a zillion things. Slow down a little and let go of more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.