Mauritania Coup Mastermind Makes Public Appearance
This article is from the archive of The New York Sun before the launch of its new website in 2022. The Sun has neither altered nor updated such articles but will seek to correct any errors, mis-categorizations or other problems introduced during transfer.
NOUAKCHOTT, Mauritania — The general who masterminded Africa’s latest coup appeared in public for the first time yesterday, leading a triumphal march on the streets of Mauritania’s capital and declaring he is “determined to save democracy” in the Islamic nation.
Elsewhere in sand-swept Nouakchott, police fired tear gas at protesters opposed to the change of power a day earlier that put General Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz in control.
The coup has returned military rule to the desert country that held historic elections just last year, its first free and fair ballot in more than 20 years. Mauritania won international praise for that vote, which saw President Abdallahi emerge as victor after a two-year transition to civilian rule begun with the army’s 2005 ouster of a dictator.