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Africa united in fight against polio outbreak

An extensive vaccination campaign across 19 West and Central African countries is to begin today in an attempt to stem a year-long polio epidemic in the region.

A child receives oral polio vaccine

The United Nations and international aid agencies plan to immunize 85 million children under five. More than 400, 000 volunteers and health workers will take part in the campaign, visiting children in their homes.

The current polio epidemic has been going on for a year and there have been outbreaks in the last six months in Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Chad, Guinea, Liberia, Mali, Mauritania, Senegal and Sierra Leone.

These countries will be the focus of the campaign, along with Benin, Cape Verde, Central African Republic, Côte d’Ivoire, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea-Bissau, Niger, Nigeria and Togo. Read More…

On this day August 3, 2005

President Maaouya Ould Sid’Ahmed Taya of Mauritania was overthrown in a military coup and replaced by the Military Council for Justice and Democracy while he was attending the funeral of King Fahd in Saudi Arabia.

Maaouya Ould Sid'Ahmed Taya معاوية ولد سيد أحمد الطايع

Maaouya Ould Sid'Ahmed Taya معاوية ولد سيد أحمد الطايع

A constitutional referendum, parliamentary and presidential elections were scheduled and the coup leaders vowed not to contest any of the elections.

The military government ended with the presidential election on 11 March 2007.

While Ould Taya was out of the country for the funeral of Saudi king Fahd in early August 2005, soldiers seized government buildings and the state media.

The group, which identified itself as the Military Council for Justice and Democracy, announced a coup d’état in a statement run by the state news agency on August 3:

The armed forces and security forces have unanimously decided to put an end to the totalitarian practices of the deposed regime under which our people have suffered much over the last several years. Read More…

Deposed Mauritanian president is released

Mauritania‘s President Sidi Ould Cheikh Abdallahi has been freed “without conditions” from house arrest by the military junta on Sunday.

Abdallahi - Marcello Casal Jr./Abr

Abdallahi - Marcello Casal Jr./Abr

Sidi Mohamed Ould Cheikh Abdallahi (Arabic|سيدي محمد ولد الشيخ عبد الله) is a Mauritanian politician who served in the government during the 1970s, and after a long period of absence from politics he won the March 2007 presidential election, taking office on 19 April 2007.

He was deposed in a military coup d’etat on August 6, 2008.

He was removed from Lemden to his soldiers guarded private residence in Nouakchott (|نواكشوط or |انواكشوط), “The place of the winds” Nawākšūṭ), the Capital and by far the largest city of Mauritania. It is one of the largest cities in the Sahara. The city is the administrative and economic centre of Mauritania. Read More…

Moulaye Ould Mohamed Laghdaf is appointed PM of Mauritania

Moulaye Ould Mohamed Laghdaf is appointed Prime Minister of Mauritania, following a coup d’etat.

The Rally of Democratic Forces (RFD), which was the main opposition party under Abdallahi, supported the coup; its leader, Ahmed Ould Daddah (who was defeated by Abdallahi in the 2007 presidential election), told Al Jazeera on August 12 that the coup was “a movement to rectify the democratic process”. Abdel Aziz met with political parties to discuss the formation of a new government.

The APP said that it would not participate in this government, but the RFD said that it intended to “study the offer”. 106 of the 151 members of both houses of Parliament (67 out of 95 deputies and 39 out of 56 senators said in a statement on August 13 that they supported the coup. According to this statement, the coup occurred “in the context of an acute political and institutional crisis” and Abdallahi “only listened to sycophants”. The statement also urged international support. Aside from the members of Parliament, 191 out of 216 mayors also supported the coup. Read More…

President Abdallahi detained in Mauritania coup d’etat

A coup d’etat took place in Mauritania today when the Mauritanian President Sidi Mohamed Ould Cheikh Abdallahi was ousted from power by the top generals he had just fired.

Early in the morning, Abdallahi announced that he was firing several senior army officers, and at 9:20 am he was seized from his home by members of the Presidential Security Battalion (BASEP for Bataillon de la sécurité présidentielle) in a military coup.

President Abdallahi - Marcello Casal Jr./Abr

President Abdallahi - Marcello Casal Jr./Abr

Presidential spokesman Abdoulaye Mamadouba said in a statement that President Sidi Ould Cheikh Abdallahi, Prime Minister Yahya Ould Ahmed Waghf, and Interior Minister Mohamed Ould R’zeizim had been arrested by renegade Senior Mauritanian army officers, unknown troops, and a group of generals, and were being held under house arrest at the presidential palace in Nouakchott. Of the apparently successful and bloodless coup d’état, Abdallahi’s daughter, Amal Mint Cheikh Abdallahi said: “The security agents of the BASEP came to our home and took away my father.”

Read More…