At least three die in post-election protests in Mauritania | ANG
  • July 24, 2024

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Just days after Mauritania’s presidential election, at least three people have died in clashes between security forces and protesters, authorities said on Tuesday.

An unspecified number of people were reported injured.

Demonstrations broke out in the capital and elsewhere across the country late on Monday after President Mohamed Ould Ghazouani was declared winner of the poll.

His comfortable victory in the first round gives the former army chief a second term in office.

But the second-placed candidate and renowned anti-slavery activist, Biram Dah Abeid, on Monday denounced what he described as “massive fraud” and claimed the result was falsified.

He promptly called for “peaceful demonstrations and peaceful gatherings”.

Authorities said security forces confronted demonstrators in the southern city of Kaedi, the country’s largest and an opposition stronghold with an overwhelming Black majority.

Demonstrations also broke out in the towns of Nouadhibou, Rosso Zoueirat, and Boghe, all also Abeid strongholds.

Following Monday’s clashes, mobile internet access was blocked as the authorities vowed to arrest those behind the violence.

The electoral commission, which includes representatives of political parties, has dismissed opposition claims about voting irregularities.

Three international election observer missions also said in their preliminary statements on Monday that voting was held in a “peaceful and transparent atmosphere”.

Ghazouani has been accused by his opponents of corruption and mismanagement, but remains popular among Mauritanians who see him as a beacon of stability.

For centuries, Mauritania’s economic and political elite of Arab and Amazigh people enslaved Black people from the north-western Sahara.

Mauritania outlawed slavery in 1981, the last country in the world to do so, but human rights groups say the practice continues.

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