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Last updated on April 16, 2014 at 14:14 EDT

Latest Maaouya Ould Sid'Ahmed Taya Stories

2008-08-07 09:00:19

By Ahmed Mohamed and Todd Pitman Associated Press NOUAKCHOTT, Mauritania -- Army commanders ousted Mauritania's first freely elected president in two decades Wednesday after an increasingly bitter political fight over his ties to allies of a reviled former dictator and his overtures to Islamic radicals. The bloodless coup reflected the internal struggle over how to manage this desperately poor desert nation that straddles the Arab and African worlds and is Africa's newest, if small-scale,...

2008-08-07 00:00:10

By Claire Soares HAVING FIRED his top military brass over breakfast yesterday, Mauritania's President was probably feeling supremely powerful. But, minutes later, commandos arrived at his suite in the heart of the presidential palace and took him hostage, executing a swift but bloodless coup and toppling the first democratically elected leader this desert nation has known. The US, the European Union and Africa's powerhouses, Nigeria and South Africa, were quick to condemn the ousting of...

2006-08-04 07:50:00

NOUAKCHOTT, Mauritania -- Rising above a sand-covered street in Mauritania's capital Nouakchott is a billboard with an image of a Manhattan-style skyline. It is not an ad for flights to the "Big Apple," but the fantasy metropolis of former President Maaouya Ould Sid'Ahmed Taya, an austere leader who hoped to turn the Sahara's biggest city into a desert "New York." A year after Taya was overthrown in a bloodless coup -- a watershed event which ended two decades of authoritarian rule in the...

2006-06-25 20:23:49

By Nick Tattersall NOUAKCHOTT (Reuters) - Mauritanians have voted hugely in favor of limiting the number of terms future presidents can serve, early indications from a referendum in the Islamic republic showed on Monday. Sunday's poll in the impoverished nation straddling Arab and black West Africa asked voters to approve constitutional changes preventing a president from serving more than two terms, each of them limited to five years. "On the basis of polling stations considered to...

2006-06-25 05:13:44

By Nick Tattersall NOUAKCHOTT (Reuters) - Mauritanians voted in a referendum on Sunday on whether to amend their constitution, in a ballot aimed at ending decades of coup attempts and one-party rule in the Islamic Republic. The polls in the impoverished nation, which straddles Arab and black West Africa, are the first since a military junta seized power in a bloodless coup last August and lay the foundation for a presidential election next March. If approved, the changes would make...

2006-06-02 10:34:50

By Ibrahima Sylla NOUAKCHOTT (Reuters) - Mauritanian security services have rounded up dozens of suspected members and supporters of an al Qaeda-linked Islamic rebel group who were plotting attacks, security sources said on Friday. At least two of the detainees were suspected of involvement in a June 2005 raid on a remote military post which killed 15 Mauritanian soldiers while another was accused of belonging to an al Qaeda cell in Barcelona, Spain, the sources said. The arrests...

2005-08-12 06:37:25

By Nick Tattersall NOUAKCHOTT (Reuters) - Mauritania's new prime minister said he wanted democratic elections as soon as possible after last week's coup and vowed the Islamic Republic would remain a U.S. ally in the fight against terrorism. A military junta seized power on August 3 in Mauritania, which straddles black and Arab Africa and is due to start pumping oil next year. The coup ended 21 years of rule by authoritarian leader Maaouya Ould Sid'Ahmed Taya. The 17-member military...

2005-08-09 20:41:40

By Nick Tattersall NOUAKCHOTT (Reuters) - The United States on Tuesday dropped a demand that Mauritania's ousted president should be restored, saying it was pressing the military junta in the West African state to carry out a constitutional transition of power. Diplomats said foreign nations would support the junta, which staged a bloodless coup last week, if it showed it could live up to a pledge to organize democratic elections. The seizure of power by the 17-member military council in...

2005-08-09 18:48:57

By Nick Tattersall NOUAKCHOTT (Reuters) - Foreign nations will support the military junta that staged a bloodless coup in Mauritania if it shows it can live up to a promise to organize democratic elections, diplomats said on Tuesday. A 17-member military council seized power in the Islamic republic last week, ending two decades of authoritarian rule by President Maaouya Ould Sid'Ahmed Taya and promising presidential elections within two years. Jubilant residents took to the streets of the...

2005-08-09 18:51:03

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Washington dropped its demand that the ousted Mauritanian president be restored and said on Tuesday it was now dealing with the coup's leaders to persuade them to find a constitutional transition of power. "The guys running the country right now are the guys we're dealing with because they're the ones making the decisions and we are trying to get them to make the right decision," State Department spokesman Adam Ereli told reporters. "That decision is to have in...