See also:
» 20.07.2009 - Abdelaziz wins elections, opposition claim irregularities
» 05.06.2009 - Mauritania's democracy deal hailed
» 03.06.2009 - Mauritania election compromise reached
» 02.06.2009 - Mediators push for later elections in Mauritania
» 28.05.2009 - Mauritanian parties at the negotiations table
» 20.05.2009 - Thousands demand Junta to scrap elections
» 14.05.2009 - Mauritania editor narrowly escapes death
» 17.04.2009 - Mauritania's former ruling party: abort electoral process

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Ousted Mauritanian president set free

afrol News, 22 December - Mauritania military junta has released the ousted president Sidi Ould Cheikh Abdallahi on Sunday after spending four and half months under house arrest. Mr Abdallahi was ousted in the bloodless coup by the country's top military officers in August.

Local media reports have revealed that security forces drove the deposed president 250 kilometers from the confinement of his native village of Lemden to the capital, where he was freed.

Mr Abdallahi's chief of staff, Kaber Ould Hamoudi said the security forces demanded his staff to wake the ousted president around 03.00 am, taking him to his private home in the capital Nouakchott, where he was dropped off and told that he was set free.

Mr Abdallahi who was elected president in 2007 becoming the first elected president since the country gained independence in 1960, saw the military junta snatching power from his administration on grounds of rampant corruption, bad governance and economic crisis.

He served for 15 months before the coup by a group of generals led by Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz. Mr Abdallahi had attempted to remove Mr Abdel Aziz, a presidential guard chief, after becoming president.

Since the coup in August, there has been mixed reactions with al-Qaeda having threatened to stage attacks against coup leaders.

Mauritanian junta has been under immense pressure from the African Union, United Nations and international community to reinstate deposed president, threatening sanctions and isolation.

Both the US and France canceled aid to Mauritania following the country's 6 August coup, calling on the military junta to release the deposed president and restore constitutionality.

The European Union has also given the country an ultimatum, calling for the junta to reinstate the disposed Mr Abdallahi to the presidency or face sanctions, a move that the junta has been trying to avoid after development aid was scaled back.

Mauritania has had numerous coups since independence from France in 1960, however, last year the then military government committed to constitutional democracy and hence the election of president Sidi Ould Cheikh Abdallahi.

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