Demo supports coup as Mauritania junta pledges elections

Wednesday's military coup in the north-western African nation of Mauritania divided opinions Thursday, with demonstrations staged both for and against ousted president Sidi Ould Cheikh Abdallahi, dpa reported.

The bigger rally supported the coup, with thousands of people calling on the new ruling military junta to "save" the country's democratic institutions which they saw as having been threatened by Cheikh Abdallahi's policies.

The demonstrators included the leaders of several political parties.

A smaller rally opposing the coup brought together dozens of people including several legislators.

No incidents were reported.

The capital Nouakchott was calm, with a heavy presence from the security forces.

The junta promised "free and transparent" presidential elections in a communique which was read out on radio and television.

The elections will be organized together with the political parties and civic groups, the "high state council" consisting of five generals and six other high-ranking military officers.

The junta pledged to stage the elections as soon as possible, without giving a date, and to respect the international agreements signed by Mauritania.

Ousted president Cheikh Abdallahi and Prime Minister Yahya Ould Ahmed Waghf were reportedly remaining in the custody of the military.

The coup was instigated partly by the presidential guard, whose head Mohammed Ould Abdel Aziz is the new leader of the former French colony of 3 million residents.

The new authorities appointed new directors for national radio and television, which had been accused of not reporting on the activities of dissidents within the ruling party, the National Pact for Democracy and Development (PNDD).

Wednesday's bloodless coup followed the sacking of Ould Abdel Aziz and three other top military officers, whom Cheikh Abdallahi had suspected of encouraging opposition against him.

Cheikh Abdallahi had previously been accused of not taking action against rising food prices and especially against the growth of Islamist extremism which is blamed for the killings of four French tourists and several Mauritanian soldiers in December.

Criticism over the presence of ministers linked to former dictator Maaouya Ould Taya contributed to a government reshuffle, but 48 legislators from the PNDD nevertheless walked out of the party on Monday.

The president was also linked to corruption allegations involving a foundation run by his wife.

While many Mauritanians welcomed Cheikh Abdallahi's departure, others deplored the coup as dashing the budding democracy which had increased press freedom and been hailed as a model for Africa.

"They have staged a coup against the stability of Mauritania, democracy and hope of justice," said Mohammed Ould Maouloud, former presidential candidate for the opposition party UFP.

Cheikh Abdallahi's election in 2007 capped a string of democratic polls which ended with a handover of power from a military junta to civilians.

The junta had ousted 21-year dictator Ould Taya in 2005.

The instigators of the 2005 bloodless coup included Ould Abdel Aziz, who was described as now having deposed a president chosen by the military and who had subsequently refused to toe its line.

Internationally, the coup was ill-received, with UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon calling for the immediate restoration of constitutional order.

The Arab League urged the parties to solve their political conflicts with democratic dialogue, while the United States and African Union condemned the coup.

The European Union said the coup could jeopardize up to 242 million dollars of aid pledged to Mauritania.

The junta must return the overthrown government to power for any future elections to count as valid, officials in Brussels said Thursday.

Cuts in aid would come at a bad time for Mauritania, a desert country with few natural resources which imports 80 per cent of its food, and which has been hard hit by the global food crisis.

Mauritania is among Africa's new oil producers, but extraction difficulties have contributed to production being limited to only around 15,000 barrels per day, down from initial forecasts of 75,000 barrels.

EU antitrust regulators to decide by October 26 on LVMH, Tiffany deal
EU antitrust regulators to decide by October 26 on LVMH, Tiffany deal
Goldman Sachs names new co-chairs of global M&A
Goldman Sachs names new co-chairs of global M&A
Russia, Uzbekistan buy polyethylene in Turkmenistan
Russia, Uzbekistan buy polyethylene in Turkmenistan
Loading Bars
Azerbaijani president, NAM chairman makes speech at high-level meeting to mark 75th anniversary of United Nations in video format (PHOTO)
Kazakhstan’s Trade House to open in Azerbaijan
More people in Iran applying for national housing plan
Fuel smuggling from Iran to Afghanistan down
IMF: Banking system of Georgia enters COVID-19 shock well-capitalized
Georgia reduces gas import from Azerbaijan
Azerbaijani, Moldovan FMs exchange views on issues on bilateral co-op agenda over phone
Regular flights between Georgia and Greece to be resumed
Iran's Chabahar Port receives cargo ships from India, UAE
Bibi Heybat to become new tourist destination in Baku (PHOTO)
Georgia decreases imports of oil, petroleum oils from Azerbaijan
Azerbaijan confirms 81 more COVID-19 recoveries
Iranian Energy Exchange announces products to be on sale September 22
Iran’s Bahar Azadi gold coin price starts to fall
Measures to improve investment climate mulled over in Azerbaijan
Iran declares amount of euros returned to country's economy by exporters
Revenue from maritime cargo transportation surges in Kazakhstan
Azerbaijan increases import of beer from Georgia
Motor fuel production down in Uzbekistan
Kazakhstan's Air Astana opens tender for power networks laying
Speaker of Azerbaijan’s Parliament arrives in Russia (PHOTO)
Joint industrial park between Azerbaijan and Iran to contribute to development of region
Gold ores output decreases in Kazakhstan
Turkmenistan increases export of men's textile clothing to EAEU countries
Criminal case raised due to another Armenian provocation in direction of Azerbaijan's Tovuz
Iran to soon action off electricity to cryptocurrency miners
AZAL to increase the frequency of Baku-Nakhchivan-Baku flights
Kazakhstan decreases export to Belarus amid COVID-19
Georgia starts testing the Energy Exchange
Total foreign trade turnover decreased in Uzbekistan
Baku Stock Exchange to hold auction on placement of AzerGold's bonds
Georgia reduces exports to Azerbaijan
CIS countries' import of Azerbaijani products grows
Turkmenistan’s Oil Refineries extends tender for creating e-document system
Iran expands volume of drilling operations at Hired gold mine
Oil prices slip on potential Libyan output return, storm supports
Dutch daily new coronavirus cases top 2,000 for first time
Review of Producer Price Indices for Services in Georgia
Bryza: Collective Security Treaty Organization not in favor of provocative actions by Armenia, or anybody else
Prices for commercial facilities in Baku grow
Volume of capital investments in Turkmenistan’s Dashoguz region revealed
Azerbaijan raises import of grain, legumes from Turkey
ITFC to foster inclusive economic growth in Uzbekistan’s business community
Georgian Kakheti region reveals volume of processed grapes
Azerbaijan increases import of chemicals from Turkey
EU antitrust regulators to decide by October 26 on LVMH, Tiffany deal
Swiss report 1,095 new coronavirus cases
Georgian external debt triples in last 8 years
Goldman Sachs names new co-chairs of global M&A
Contracts signed to increase oil and gas extraction in Iran
Azerbaijani Community of Nagorno-Karabakh region calls for pressure on Armenia
Peter Tase: Armenian leadership’s inflammatory remarks exacerbating already inflammable situation around Karabakh conflict
Georgians traveling to Lithuania to be obliged to go into 14-days self-isolation
Export Price Index down in Georgia
Iran boosts value of non-oil exports via Kermanshah Province
Demand for Turkish clothes in Kazakhstan rising
Axpo creating marketplaces with digital platforms
Exports of Iran’s Golestan Province decreases
Azerbaijan's export of persimmon declines
Iran reveals its COVID-19 data for September 21
Russian Trade Ministry names medicines delivered to Turkmenistan
Uzbekistan to increase green power production
Azerbaijan's Baktelecom continues installing fiber-optic lines in Baku
Import of Turkish clothes by Azerbaijan surges
TOP-5 trade partners of Azerbaijan
UK ponders second COVID-19 lockdown as outbreak accelerates
Norway to spend $1.8 billion on world's first full-scale CCS chain
Precious metal prices in Azerbaijan vary
Property prices in Baku rise
Russia’s Trade Ministry talks supply of medicines to Turkmenistan
PPI for industrial products increases in Georgia
Georgia sees increase in DPPI for Industrial Products
Azerbaijani Central Bank names amount of manat attracted for deposit auction
Iran reveals exports value of mining sector
Volume of maritime cargo shipment from Algeria via Turkey revealed
Uzbekistan’s import of steel from Turkey down
Russia's import of electrical goods from Turkey surges
Strategy development to be main priority in start-up promotion in Azerbaijan - expert
Azerbaijan's MFA issues statement on situation at Azerbaijani-Armenian line of contact
Azerbaijani president: We do not lay claim to lands of other countries, but we will not give our lands to anyone either
Azerbaijani president: Armenia poses a threat to regional stability
Azerbaijani president: If Armenia is flouting international law, why should we abide by it?!
Michael Pompeo: US urges sides to promptly resume substantive negotiations on Nagorno-Karabakh conflict
Slovakia interested in opening direct flight between Baku and Bratislava
President Ilham Aliyev: Interest in Azerbaijan’s oil potential in the world is not decreasing, on the contrary, it is growing
Portion of Transcript on LAC Issue India-China LAC Issue
Slovak embassy hopes Azerbaijan can explore investment opportunities in Slovakia
Construction of production infrastructure for three gas fields started in Turkmenistan
Georgian domestic exports down
President Ilham Aliyev: Today, right to vote in Armenia belongs to Soros
President Ilham Aliyev: Armenia country where Islamophobia is state policy
Ministry of Industry, Mine and Trade of Iran discloses amount of foreign investments
Azerbaijani president about Pashinyan: Who are you to speak to us in the language of conditions?
Azerbaijani president: If Armenia does not give up their ugly plans, they will face very serious consequences
Azerbaijani president: It is crime to bring people to occupied territories and settle them there illegally
Volume of wheat purchased in Iran’s Sistan and Baluchestan Province grows
German company to place orders for tailoring products in Uzbek textile factories
Russia reports over 6,100 new coronavirus cases
Weekly digest of Azerbaijan’s energy sector
Copper ores, concentrates top export items of Georgia
All news