Wednesday, August 10, 2005


The other thing that caught my eye this week was the military coup in Mauritania.  If you are missing this, then head on over to Google and type in Mauritania, then follow along. 

Earlier last week, the military, led by Colonel Ely Ould Mohamed Vall, entered and occupied the government in the capital of Nouakchott without any fighting.  Vall claims that their aim is to transition to democracy in 2 years time.  The President-for-life, Maaouya Ould Taya, was out of the country attending the funeral of the King of Saudi Arabia.

At first glance this was shocking to all the civilized nations of the world, and was widely denounced.  The US went so far as to demand that the military re-instate President Taya.  Really, this isn’t so shocking for Africa.  When dictators are allowed to languish in power for too long the military generally takes over.  And once it takes over it rarely gives up the power back to the people or anyone.  So western nations were understandably concerned.

They seem to have changed their tune now, though.  While no-one is happy about it, the important thing to do is put pressure on the military there to transition to a democracy as soon a possible.

Mauritania is a country dominated by nomads and is mostly covered by the Sahara.  It’s three times the size of Mexico, with only 3 million people.  Pretty out of the way.  About the only thing of import here is the opportunity the US has to continue to promote its dedication to democracy and freedom.

For now I think we should offer cautious support.

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