Friday 18 August 2017
(AFP (eng) 08/16/17)
Mauritania's President Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz has approved a newly drafted law abolishing the senate, the most controversial measure in a package of reforms passed by referendum this month. Government spokesman Mohamed Lemine Ould Cheikh confirmed that the president had given final approval to the law, in comments to reporters on Tuesday evening. The law was passed the same day the constitutional council cleared the results of the August 5 referendum in which 85 percent of those who voted approved the measure. But the official turnout figure for the vote was 53.73 percent...
(APA 08/16/17)
APA-Nouakchott (Mauritania) - The Constitutional Council in Mauritania has announced the final results of the August 5 referendum, confirming victory for the Yes vote. Speaking in Nouakchott on Tuesday, the president of the council, Sghair Ould M'Bareck said the Yes vote won with 85.70 percent, endorsing the proposed amendment to the constitution, which include scrapping the Senate and modifying the national flag and anthem. Ould M'Bareck added that all the appeals they received challenging the validity of the exercise were baseless given that “no convincing evidence was provided to the judges of the council." On 6 August, the Independent Electoral Commission had indicated that the provisional results of the referendum were 85.67 percent in favor of constitutional change with a turnout of 53 percent.
(AFP (eng) 08/05/17)
Mauritanians began voting Saturday on several contentious changes to their constitution sought by President Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz but opposed by a wide swathe of opposition lawmakers and civil society groups. Aziz is pushing to abolish the country's Senate and several other state bodies and to make a small alteration to the national flag, measures that have galvanised a boycott movement hoping to sap the vote's credibility by forcing a low turnout. Polling stations opened at 7:00 am (0700 GMT)...
(AFP (eng) 08/04/17)
The head of a boycott movement opposed to a constitutional referendum in Mauritania accused the country's rulers on Friday of planning "massive fraud" on the eve of the vote, and warned of violence. Saturday's referendum follows a tense campaign punctuated by massive protests that have been at times violently put down by the security forces. Jemil Ould Mansour, head of the Islamic Tewassoul party spearheading the movement against the vote, said President Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz and his supporters had...
(AFP (eng) 08/04/17)
Police and opposition activists clashed Thursday in Mauritania's capital on the final day of campaigning for a controversial constitutional referendum. The authorities refused to give the green light for protests opposing the constitutional changes in Nouakchott and three regions of the west African country, leading to what activists said was "excessive" use of tear gas in an area to the west of the capital. A coalition drawn from a broad political spectrum including Islamists and anti-slavery activists in the conservative...
(AFP (eng) 08/03/17)
The sole Mauritanian political party urging citizens to vote "No" in a controversial referendum on abolishing the Senate complained Wednesday their ability to campaign had been severely restricted. The National Democratic Convergence (CDN) is alone in campaigning for a "No" vote as other opposition parties are either calling for a total boycott of the referendum on Saturday, or joining the ruling party of President Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz in calling for a "Yes". "Campaigning is difficult and unequal in terms of time allocated for broadcasting...
(Reuters (Eng) 08/01/17)
Germany on Monday lent support to France's push to make operational a new multinational military force that will tackle Islamist militants in Africa's Sahel region and urged other powers to contribute funds at an Autumn donor conference. On a joint visit to Niger's capital, Niamey, German Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen and her French counterpart, Florence Parly, said the Sahel force was West Africa's best hope for defeating the militants. Some observers see the G5 Sahel force — comprised of troops from Mali, Mauritania, Burkina Faso, Niger and Chad
(Le Calame 07/29/17)
Le coup d’envoi de la campagne en vue du referendum du 5 Août a été donné vendredi dernier, à 0h. Partisans et adversaires du scrutin contesté rivalisent d’arguments. Les premiers plaident en faveur d’un « oui massif » aux amendements constitutionnels préconisés par le dernier dialogue politique, entre une partie de l’opposition et la majorité présidentielle, les seconds pour « faire échec » au projet gouvernemental de modifier la Constitution sans passer par les règles promulguées par Celle-ci. Sur le...
(Voice of America 07/25/17)
European and African ministers are meeting in Tunisia about efforts to regulate the flow of refugees from Africa to Europe, primarily along the deadly central Mediterranean route originating in Libya. In a declaration Monday in Tunis, the capital, the ministers said they agreed on a multi-pronged approach to the crisis, including informing people about the risks of illegal migration and the possibility of voluntarily returning home, addressing why migrants leave home and beefing up actions against human traffickers. Participating in...
(AFP (eng) 07/21/17)
Mauritanian President Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz launched campaigning Friday for a constitutional referendum boycotted by opposition figures who call the vote a smokescreen to keep the ruling party in power. The boycott movement draws broad political support from Islamists and anti-slavery activists in the conservative west African nation, all of whom oppose measures including abolishing the senate and changing the national flag. "Your presence in such great numbers sends a message to those who don't want the country to move...
(AFP (eng) 07/11/17)
Several Mauritanian opposition parties said Monday that they had formed a coalition to boycott a referendum set for August 5 which they say is a smokescreen to keep the ruling party in power. The "No" coalition is drawn from a broad political spectrum including Islamists and anti-slavery activists in the conservative west African nation, all of whom oppose measures including abolishing the senate and changing the national flag. Jemil Ould Mansour, head of the Islamic Tewassoul party, called the referendum...
(AFP (eng) 07/06/17)
The African Union's new chair Moussa Faki Mahamat on Wednesday questioned US commitment to fighting terrorism on the continent after it blocked efforts to get UN funding for an anti-jihadist force in the Sahel. "This is a specific case of a certain number of African states taking the initiative to create a dedicated force to fight terrorism. So, we don't understand how the United States could hold back or not engage in the fight against terrorism," Faki said in an...
(Reuters (Eng) 07/03/17)
African powers launched a new multinational military force to tackle Islamist militants in the Sahel on Sunday, which French President Emmanuel Macron told a regional summit should be fully operational by the autumn despite its current budget shortfall. Some observers see the initiative of the G5 Sahel bloc - Mali, Mauritania, Burkina Faso, Niger and Chad - as forming the basis of an eventual exit strategy for around 4,000 French troops now deployed to the volatile region. But Macron said...
(The Associated Press 07/03/17)
BAMAKO, Mali (AP) -- France's president on Sunday promised strong support for a new multinational military force against extremists in Africa's vast Sahel region, saying the "terrorists, thugs and assassins" need to be eradicated. President Emmanuel Macron, meeting in Mali with leaders from the five regional countries involved, said France will provide military support for operations as well as 70 tactical vehicles and communications, operations and protective equipment. The 5,000-strong force will be deployed by September, and its funding will...
(AFP (eng) 07/02/17)
French President Emmanuel Macron, making a lightning visit to Mali, on Sunday threw his weight behind a planned Sahel force to fight jihadists but told countries their efforts had to bear fruit. The so-called "G5 Sahel" countries -- Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania and Niger -- have pledged to set up a joint force to combat the wave of Islamist bombings, shootings and kidnappings south of the Sahara. Macron, joining the heads of state in the Malian capital Bamako for...
(AFP (eng) 06/30/17)
President Emmanuel Macron is due in Mali on Sunday to consolidate Western backing for a regional anti-jihadist force, as France beefs up its counter-terror operations in the area. The so-called "G5 Sahel" countries just south of the Sahara -- Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania and Niger -- have pledged to fight jihadists on their own soil, as instability and Islamist attacks rise. With its base in Sevare, central Mali, the 5,000-strong G5 Sahel force aims to bolster the 12,000 UN...
(Reuters (Eng) 06/30/17)
President Emmanuel Macron heads to Mali on Sunday to throw France's weight behind a new West African military force he hopes will lay the basis for an exit strategy for its own troops; but its prospects for success look slim. Mali is hosting a heads of state summit with Niger, Chad, Burkina Faso and Mauritania - known as the G5 Sahel - who could ultimately deploy thousands of troops into the vast, arid Sahel region that remains a breeding ground...
(The Associated Press 06/21/17)
UNITED NATIONS (AP) -- The U.N. Security Council unanimously approved a resolution Thursday welcoming the deployment of a 5,000-strong African force to fight the growing threat from extremists in the vast Sahel region after it was watered down to meet U.S. demands. France's U.N. Ambassador Francois Delattre called it "a landmark resolution" that brings "strong and decisive support" from the U.N.'s most powerful body to the five countries contributing troops - Mali, Burkina Faso, Mauritania, Niger and Chad. The United...
(AFP (eng) 06/21/17)
The UN Security Council will vote Wednesday on a draft resolution that would pave the way for the deployment of a five-nation African military force to fight jihadists in the Sahel region. The vote was scheduled for 1400 GMT after France reached a deal with the United States on the proposed measure, which welcomes the deployment but does not give it full UN authorization, according to the agreed text seen by AFP. Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania and Niger --...
(Voice of America 06/21/17)
UNITED NATIONS — The United Nations Security Council is set to vote on Wednesday on a draft resolution to back a West African force to combat terrorism and arms, drug and human trafficking in the Sahel region after France weakened the language in a bid to appease the United States. The vast, arid region has in recent years become a breeding ground for jihadist groups - some linked to al-Qaida and Islamic State - that European nations, particularly France, fear...

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