Monday 23 October 2017
(AFP (eng) 10/23/17)
An appeal by Sahel region countries for help in their battle against jihadist violence received a boost Sunday when a visiting UN Security Council ambassador pledged support. "I can assure you Burkina Faso and the G5 Sahel Countries will get the support they need," said Ethiopian ambassador Tekeda Alemu, who co-presided with his French and Italian colleagues in the 15-strong UN delegation ending a five-day visit to the region. The trip came on the initiative of France, which is presiding over the UN Security Council this month. The so-called "G5 Sahel" states -- comprising Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania and Niger...
(AFP (eng) 10/19/17)
The new UN envoy for disputed Western Sahara, Horst Koehler, met leaders of an Algerian-backed independence movement Wednesday after visiting Morocco in a bid to get stalled peace talks back on track. Koehler, a former German president tasked by the United Nations in August with mediating the decades-old dispute, sat down with leaders from the pro-independence Polisario Front as he made his first trip to the refugee camps in Algeria where they are based. The meeting is part of a fresh push by the United Nations to try to resolve one of Africa's longest-running territorial disputes, which saw the Polisario Front wage a bitter 16-year insurgency against Moroccan control. A UN-brokered ceasefire in 1991 halted the fighting, but Morocco insists...
(AFP (eng) 10/17/17)
Though its motto is "one Africa, one voice", the reality of "Africa's parliament" could not be more different. Since its creation in 2004, the Pan-African Parliament (PAP) has struggled to make its voice heard, prompting its deputies to ask themselves at a recent gathering: "What are we for?" "Every time we're here, we obsess over the same things. If we are not making laws, then what's the point of being here?" Corneille Padonou of Benin said to his fellow parliamentarians...
(APA 10/12/17)
APA - Nouakchott (Mauritania) - The Mauritanian government has said it is backing the unity of Spain in view of ongoing moves by the Catalan leadership to break away from the rest of the country. The Foreign Affairs and Cooperation ministry issued a statement on Wednesday, stating Nouakchott’s position on the issue, affirming its unconditional support for the indivisibility of Spain. Mauritania described Spain as a friendly country with which, it maintains, in addition to centuries-old relations, exemplary multidimensional cooperation. The ministry said it remains convinced that the successful democratic model in Spain will enable the country to overcome the ongoing crisis, while respecting the rule of law.
(APA 10/09/17)
APA - Nouakchott (Mauritania) - The 31st summit of the African Union will take place next July in the Mauritanian capital Nouakchott, the country’s Economy and Finance minister, Moctar Ould Diay has confirmed. The announcement was made by the Minister as he defended the finance law rectifying the 2017 state budget, during a plenary of the National Assembly on Saturday evening. It is the first time Mauritania has been chosen to host the AU summit. Last year the country hosted...
(AFP (eng) 10/03/17)
UN Security Council ambassadors will travel to Mali, Burkina Faso and Mauritania this month to get a close-up view of a new regional force that France is hoping to shore up with financing, the French ambassador said Monday. The Sahel force is set to begin operations this month, tasked with combating Islamic militants, some of whom have links to Al-Qaeda, but a question mark remains over funding. France will use its presidency of the Security Council in October to focus...
(APA 09/18/17)
APA - Nouakchott (Mauritania)- The National Front for Democracy and Unity (FNDU), which groups the generality of the Mauritanian opposition has warned of an impending “disaster” that could strike the rural areas thanks to prolonged dry spells during the rainy season. “There is a catastrophe threatening our rural areas today, farmers and herders included” FNDU warned in a statement issued in Nouakchott. “The country has experienced a great delay in the rainy season this year and witnessed an alarming deficit...
(Alakhbar 09/14/17)
ALAKHBAR (Nouakchott) - L’ex-président de l’assemblée nationale mauritanienne et chef du parti APP, Messoud Ould Belkheir, a appelé ses compatriotes au boycott de la Chine et de l'Inde qu’il accuse de soutenir "les exactions commises par le régime birman contre les Rohingyas". « J’appelle les Mauritaniens a boycotter la Chine maudite », a dit Messaoud qui était accueilli ce mercredi l’aéroport de Nouakchott après un séjour médical aux Emirats arabes unis. L’ex président de l’assemblée nationale mauritanienne a également exprimé...
(Xinhuanet 08/23/17)
China is dedicated to enhancing its cooperation with Africa in human resource development through knowledge and technology transfer, a Chinese diplomat said Tuesday. Liu Tao, Charge d'Affaires of the Chinese Embassy in Ethiopia, made the remarks at the Chinese Government Training Program Fellowship Reception in Ethiopia's capital Addis Ababa. He said China, since the year 2000, has sent over 2,000 agricultural experts and over 7,000 medical personnel to Africa, and has trained more than 80,000 Africans from more than 50...
(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...
(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...

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