- The African Union has vowed to maintain sanctions targeted against Mauritanian junta despite the call by the Union’s Chairman, Muammar Gaddafi, suggesting for the lift of sanctions on the country.
The AU imposed sanctions on Mauritanian last month following the military coup in August 2008 which ousted the democratically elected President Sidi Ould Sheikh Abdallahi.
The AU's Peace and Security Council (PSC) made the decision to uphold the sanctions, during a meeting at its headquarters on Tuesday.
Benin's ambassador to the AU, Edouard Aho-Glele, who chaired the meeting said the Security Council has reaffirmed its decision to impose sanctions against the junta unless it restores democratic rule.
"The list of names of those targeted by the sanctions will be drawn up within a month by the AU Commission, the organisation's top executive organ," he added.
In September, AU gave the Mauritanian government the 6 October deadline to reinstate its president or face serious sanctions, but instead the junta had ignored the call and shown progress to hold fresh elections and elect a new president.
A number of western powers including US and France have also refused to recognise the military government, denouncing it as illegitimate.
However, Colonel Gaddafi who took the rotating chair of the continental organisation at its latest summit in February, had said during a visit to Nouakchott, earlier this month said the sanctions should be lifted.
"I have assured myself that the military authorities are determined to organise presidential elections on June 6, so this file is closed from now on," Col Gaddafi told the media.
Since the coup in August, the al-Qaeda group has also threatened to stage attacks against the coup plotters. However, Mr Aziz said the junta was currently addressing the country's terrorism threat, after an al-Qaeda-claimed attack on a military patrol in September.
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