- Mauritanian junta has said the African Union sanctions imposed on the north African state last week undermines positive development made towards restoring democratic rule in the country, government statement said.
The AU which had since September threaten to slap Mauritania with sanctions, imposed travel bans and asset freezes on Mauritanian officials and its citizens after the August coup that ousted the nation's first freely elected president in decades.
On Sunday, the junta member, Colonel Ahmedou Bamba Ould Baya, said in an email statement that the sanctions ignore the positive measures by the junta toward quickly restoring the constitutional order in the country.
Mr Ould Baye said for instance, the AU had the willingness of the junta to find a solution to return to constitutional order by calling elections last December and pledging to hold elections by June this year, as opposed to 2010 that was initially announced.
"Mauritania will hold its hand out to partners so that they accompany the development underway and strictly respect the choices of our people," Mr Ould Baye said in a statement.
A number of western powers including US and France have refused to recognise the military government, denouncing it as illegitimate.
The Mauritanian junta has been under immense pressure from AU, United Nations and international community to reinstate deposed president, threatening sanctions and isolation.
Ousted President Sidi Ould Cheikh Abdallahi was the country's first democratically-elected president after decades on civil war and military coups.
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