See also:
» 23.02.2010 - Mauritania recalls ambassador over release of rebels
» 15.02.2010 - Police chief sentenced to 7 years
» 26.01.2010 - Mauritania hailed for cutting ties with Israel
» 13.01.2010 - Italy to enhance security cooperation
» 10.11.2009 - Mauritanian grassroots groups receive US funding
» 05.10.2009 - Mauritania gets $12 million to boost food production and lower imports
» 20.07.2009 - Abdelaziz wins elections, opposition claim irregularities
» 05.06.2009 - Mauritania's democracy deal hailed

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Mauritania coup condemned

afrol News, 7 August - A coup d'etat by Mauritania's top military officers on Wednesday was widely condemned by the international community.

The coup, believed to have been sparked by President Sidi Ould Cheikh Abdallahi's move to fire four top military officials, including the head of presidential guards, was declared illegal by several international bodies, including the African Union that demanded a "restoration of legality" in the West African country.

In a communique, the AU said its peace and security commissioner Ramtane Lamamra has left for the capital Nouakchott "to study the situation as well as promote peaceful solution to the crisis."

The continental body has announced an emergency summit to discuss the coup, which led to the arrest of President Abdallahi and Prime Minister Yahya Ould Ahmed Waghf.

The European Union has also condemned the coup, and expressed "strong concern" about the country's democratic process. The 27-member bloc's development commissioner Louis Michel said Mauritania's political tensions needed to be resolved through democratic institutions.

Mr. Michel, who has demanded "the immediate release' of the President and Prime Minister," urged the state council led by General Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz to allow the leaders to return to their posts without hitches.

He said what happened in Mauritania could compromise cooperation policies and aid package alloted by the EU for the 2008-2013 period.

One of Africa's democratic heavyweights has also condemned the military coup. According to a spokesperson of foreign affairs department, South Africa had condemned the coup with "serious concerns."

"South Africa has never countenanced the use of military coups to settle political issues and joins the entire international community in expressing its outright and unequivocal condemnation of such unconstitutional transfer of power," said a spokesperson.

"South Africa like the rest of humanity calls for an immediate return to democracy and the rule of law."

Abdallahi, 68, took over from a military junta in April last year after he had edged out his opponents in a widely contested presidential polls.

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