- The UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has welcomed yesterday’s signing of an agreement between parties in Mauritania, calling it a “solid basis” for the West African nation’s return to constitutional order and the consolidation of democracy.
President Sidi Ould Cheikh Abdallah, who was elected after multi-party democratic elections in 2007, was overthrown by the country’s military in a move that was widely condemned, including by the Secretary-General and the United Nations Security Council.
In a statement issued by his spokesperson yesterday, Mr Ban “congratulates the parties for the spirit of compromise demonstrated during the negotiations” which wrapped up in the capital, Nouakchott.
He also commended those assisting in the talks, particularly President Abdoulaye Wade of Senegal, the Chairman of the African Union (AU) and members of the facilitation team, including the International Contact Group and Said Djinnit, the Secretary-General’s Special Representative for West Africa.
The statement noted that Mr Ban will closely follow developments in Mauritania leading up to the presidential elections scheduled for 18 July.
The Mauritania's military rulers and the opposition leaders signed an agreement to end a political crisis, under which the former junta leader General Mohamed Ould Abdelaziz is suspending his campaign in the presidential elections initially set for 6 June.
The deal struck after a marathon talks involving local parties and the international mediators also envisages the formation of a unity government.
The Mauritanian opposition, spearheaded by the country's democratically elected but ousted President Sidi Ould Cheikh Abdallahi, had threatened to boycott the elections, claiming they were only being organised to legitimise the power of general Ould Abdelaziz.
The general, who took power in an August 2008 coup, was nominated by his military junta to contest the polls, and had earlier this year, stepped down to run for president.
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.