MAURITANIA: Army seizes power to end "totalitarian regime"
ith Mauritanian President Maaouya Ould Taya out of the country, the armed forces on Wednesday said they had seized power to end his "totalitarian regime" and had set up a military council to rule in his place.It's all about the oil. Again.
Ould Taya, who himself came to power in a coup in 1984 and has withstood several previous ousting attempts, was overseas as troops seized state media, the armed forces headquarters, and positioned themselves outside the presidency building in the capital, Nouakchott, in the early hours of the morning. The airport was also closed.
Later, in a communique broadcast on state media, a "Military Council for Justice and Democracy" announced it would rule the desert nation, which is hoping to get rich from oil, for a maximum of two years.>
"The armed forces and the security forces have unanimously decided to put an end to the totalitarian practices of the defunct regime under which our people have suffered so much these last years," the statement from the hitherto-unknown group said. "This council vows before the Mauritanian people to create the conditions favourable for an open an transparent democracy."