- 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.
afrol News - It is called "financial inclusion", and it is a key government policy in Rwanda. The goal is that, by 2020, 90 percent of the population is to have and actively use bank accounts. And in only four years, financial inclusion has doubled in Rwanda.
afrol News - The UN's humanitarian agencies now warn about a devastating famine in Sudan and especially in South Sudan, where the situation is said to be "imploding". Relief officials are appealing to donors to urgently fund life-saving activities in the two countries.
afrol News - Fear is spreading all over West Africa after the health ministry in Guinea confirmed the first Ebola outbreak in this part of Africa. According to official numbers, at least 86 are infected and 59 are dead as a result of this very contagious disease.
afrol News - It is already a crime being homosexual in Ethiopia, but parliament is now making sure the anti-gay laws will be applied in practical life. No pardoning of gays will be allowed in future, but activist fear this only is a signal of further repression being prepared.
afrol News / Africa Renewal - Ethiopia's ambitious plan to build a US$ 4.2 billion dam in the Benishangul-Gumuz region, 40 km from its border with Sudan, is expected to provide 6,000 megawatts of electricity, enough for its population plus some excess it can sell to neighbouring countries.