- A panel of mediators in Dakar have proposed Mauritania's presidential elections slated for 6 June to be postponed to 18 July. The talks which opened in Senegal last week seek to find the common ground for the ruling junta that took power in August 2008 and parties opposing the coup.
Mauritanian opposition parties have refused to take part in the 6 June vote vowing to boycott them, saying the elections outcomes were pre-determined. The opposition parties said elections called by General Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz were a sham to legitimise his unconstitutional grip on power, demanding the reinstatement of the country's democratically elected President Sidi Ould Cheikh Abdallahi.
Mauritania has been rocked by political instability since the military junta led by General Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz ousted the country's first democratically elected president in August last year.
General Ould Abdel Aziz, who was nominated by his junta to contest the polls, has since stepped down to run for president in the June polls.
President Sidi Ould Cheikh Abdallahi who was elected president in 2007, becoming the first democratically elected president since the country gained independence in 1960, served for 15 months before the coup by a group of generals led by Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz.
During the short democratic rule, Mauritania was developing into a model country in the Arab world when it came to respecting human rights and developing true democratic standards. Mauritania's press experienced a revolution of liberty and even historically discriminated groups such as slaves and non-Arabs were given freedom.
However, since the junta took power in the bloodless coup, Mauritanians have lost their newfound freedom and authoritarian rule is reinstated. The country has been slapped with a number of sanctions from both the European Union and the African Union demanding restoration of democratic rule.
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.