Monday, February 09, 2009

Mauritania Junta Says African Union Sanctions Ignore Progress

08/02/2009 16:04 NOUAKCHOTT, Feb 8 (AFP)

Mauritania junta says AU sanctions ignore progress

One of Mauritania's junta leaders said Sunday that African Union sanctions imposed last week overlooked "positive developments" in the North African country.

The African Union (AU) "has ignored the measures and positive developments carried out on the ground since" the military junta overthrew the government in August, said Colonel Ahmedou Bemba Ould Baye on his official website.

On Thursday, the AU's Peace and Security Council (CPS) called on all members of the 53-nation bloc to implement sanctions slapped on the junta.

Ould Baye said the AU "hid the willingness" of the junta to find a solution "to return to constitutional order" by calling elections.

Mauritania will "hold its hand out" to partners so that they "accompany the development underway" and "strictly respect the choices of our people," Ould Baye said.

The junta announced last month it would hold new presidential elections on June 6 after holding a forum that was boycotted by anti-coup parties.

The June 6 date chosen by the junta is exactly six months after the coup ousted Mauritania's first democratically-elected president, Sidi Ould Cheikh Abdallahi.

The sanctions would consist of "a travel ban on civilian and military members of the junta, the systematic refusal of visas and checks on their bank accounts," CPS chairman Manuel Domingos Augusto previously told AFP.


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