Mauritania

One month after human rights defender Mr Biram Dah Abeid was arrested, a peaceful anti-slavery march was violently cracked down. Several activists were severely injured and the wife of Mr. Abeid, Leila Mint Ahmed Khliva, was injured by a grenade. Since Mr. Abeid, president of the ‘Initiative de Résurgence du Mouvement Abolitionniste de Mauritanie’ (IRA) was arrested on 29 April 2012, his whereabouts continue to remain unknown.

Thousands of Mauritanian opposition activists staged a march and sit-down protest in Nouakchott Wednesday evening 9 May, calling for former coup leader President Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz to step down. The turnout was larger than on May 2, when the demonstrators tried to occupy a square in the centre of the capital before being dispersed by security forces.

Thousands of young Mauritanian opposition protestors took to the streets of Nouakchott Sunday to demand President Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz, a former coup leader, step down. 'We're ready to oust Aziz,' the demonstrators chanted during a march that wound up in front of the national broadcaster, which the protestors described as 'the symbol of the regime's tyranny'.

With hundreds of thousands fleeing the conflict in northern Mali, civil society groups in Mauritania are working to ensure the refugee community integrates peacefully with local residents. 'Solidarity for all in Mauritania', a conglomerate of civil society organisations, held a Nouakchott seminar March 20th on activities to support the local population in the border towns of Fassala and Bassiknou. The forum discussed how best to reduce the repercussions of the poor living conditions in areas ...read more

Mauritania dispatched its top diplomat to neighbouring Mali to counter media reports that it was backing Malian rebels fighting for independence in the desert north. The Mauritanian foreign minister expressed his country's support for Mali's authorities. His visit came as rebel fighters arrived within 135 km (80 miles) of Timbuktu, the capital of one of three northern regions they want to annex to create a new state on the edge of the Sahara.

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