Uncertainty Over Abdel Aziz’s Future Is Fueling Election Tensions in Mauritania

Mauritania’s president, Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz, welcomes his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron upon his arrival at Nouakchott airport, Mauritania, July 2, 2018 (AP photo by Ludovic Marin).
Mauritania’s president, Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz, welcomes his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron upon his arrival at Nouakchott airport, Mauritania, July 2, 2018 (AP photo by Ludovic Marin).
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Last Friday, the day before voters in Mauritania went to the polls for parliamentary, regional and local elections, United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said in a statement that he would be “closely following developments” in the West African country. In particular, he called on “all parties” to “allow for the participation of all interested stakeholders.” By that point, however, this wish was already out of reach. That’s because in early August, Biram Dah Abeid, a prominent opposition politician, was arrested at his home by police officers who reportedly said they were executing “an order that came from above.” Abeid remains […]

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