- International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) has slammed violent suppression by Mauritanian authorities against trade unionists who had come together in Nouakchott yesterday, to take part in World Day for Decent Work (WDDW).
While welcoming success of this global trade union event in a video message, general secretary of ITUC, Guy Ryder, also expressed his concern at aggression meted out to Mauritanian trade unionists yesterday.
According to a press statement issued by ITUC today, six national trade union centres (UTM, CGTM, CLTM, USLM, UNTM and CNTM), appealing for resistance to military dictatorship in Mauritania, had announced that they would maintain their call for a peaceful yesterday afternoon, as part of international celebration of WDDW, in spite of junta's ban on all demonstrations.
"We were expecting to be repressed, but it is price we have to pay," said Abdallahi Ould Mohamed, known as Nanah, general secretary of General Workers' Confederation of Mauritania (CGTM), in a statement to Agence France Presse.
"If a trade union organisation cannot even express its concerns freely, out on the streets, then we may as well 'shut up shop' and leave! Demonstrating is all we have left," added CGTM general secretary, voicing appeal by six national trade union centres for defence of fundamental rights suppressed by military authorities.
ITUC's statement shows that in country's provinces, regional trade union coordinating bodies had planned specific events, such as conferences and meetings, to mark trade union World Day for Decent Work.
"About an hour after demonstration began, they started to throw tear gas at us and beat us with clubs. It was very violent, and not even women were spared," general secretary of CLTM, Samory Ould Beye told ITUC.
He noted that by nightfall, calm seemed to have been restored, adding that however that trade unions' premises were still under police occupation, Mr Beye also explained that about 20 people were injured as a result of repression.
Statement further indicates that national trade union centres have called consistently for an unconditional return to constitutional order ever since coup d'état two months ago by General Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz, who has taken over presidency of High Council of State, and for reinstatement of president of republic and his prime minister in their legitimate posts.
"Overriding interest of Mauritanian nation lies in respect of its constitutional will as expressed in March 2007 elections, which marked culmination of a long democratic process that had made possible establishment of genuine democratic institutions which remain only legitimate institutions capable of ensuring nation's lasting development," it says.
ITUC strongly condemned military coup on 6 August and has expressed its concerns ever since, joining call of rest of international community for immediate restoration of constitutional order, it concludes.
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.