Mauritania: Concern over army in politics

2012-11-02 11:18
Mauritanian President Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz. (File, AP)

Mauritanian President Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz. (File, AP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

kalahari.com

Nouakchott - Opposition leaders in coup-prone Mauritania on Thursday called on the army to stay out of politics and demanded more information on the health of the country's absentee president.

Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz, a key ally of the West in the fight against al-Qaeda in Africa, was flown to France on 14 October, for treatment of a gunshot wound the government said he received when a military patrol accidentally fired on his convoy.

He was released from hospital more than a week ago but has yet to return to Mauritania or appear publicly, raising questions over the state of his health and who is running the country in his absence.

Several thousand opposition supporters gathered in the capital Nouakchott on Thursday to demand more transparency from the authorities concerning the president's condition as well as a report clarifying the circumstances of his shooting.

"The soldiers held the power for more than 40 years and today it's not just a coincidence if everyone thinks it's the army chief of staff who has the power," said Khadiata Malik Diallo, vice president of the opposition UFP party.

"We don't want soldiers to be able to interfere in politics any longer, either openly or covertly," he said.

Contact

Rumours have abounded in the arid West African nation since the president's shooting, with many questioning the government's official version of events.

Last weekend, when Abdel Aziz failed to appear on television for his traditional address marking the Muslim feast of Tabaski, fears that he had died and that the army was in the process of taking over spread through the capital.

The president of the National Assembly, Messaoud Ould Boulkheir, attempted on Wednesday to calm the country's citizens by saying he had been in contact with Abdel Aziz by telephone.

"I spoke to the president, who told me he was doing well and that his health was improving. Our conversation allowed me to note that he had all his intellectual capacities," he said on state radio.

However, the government's assurances have done little to allay the fears of many Mauritanians that the country is now experiencing a power vacuum.

"Who's ruling the country while the president is away? Is it the military, businessmen or the prime minister? None of them is entitled to do so according to our constitution," said one man at Thursday's opposition meeting.

"And what will happen if al-Qaeda operates another incursion into Mauritania?" asked the man, who gave his name only as Hamoud.

Read more on:    mohamed ould abdel aziz  |  mauritania  |  west africa
NEXT ON NEWS24X
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com 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
0 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/Dewani Trial
 

Red Bull Lionheart trail run - not for the fainthearted!

Entries are open, so what are you waiting for?

 
 

Where were you when you last felt alive?

Adventure holidays for your bucket list
Top 10 water sports to try before you die
6 impressive camping tips
LOL! The 8 stages of marathon running

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Save up to R1000 on Hisense smartphones!

View the large range of Hisense smartphones. Buy today and save up to R1000!

Deal of the week!

Save R1200 on the Samsung 48” smart full HD LED television now only R8799. Buy now!

Toys 4 for the price of 3

Buy 4 toys and get the cheapest FREE! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Mind blowing prices – As seen on TV

Get mind blowing prices on 1000’s of products! Shop now.

Save 20% on Nivea beauty products!

Buy any two Nivea beauty products and save 20%. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

There is an easy social flow and the need to blend in, yet you may not feel entirely comfortable. Something beneath the surface...read more

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

Hello 

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 24.com network.

Settings

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.