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German Government concerned about military coup in Mauritania

06.08.2008 - Press release

According to reports reaching the Federal Foreign Office, the President of the Islamic Republic of Mauritania, Sidi Mohamed Ould Cheikh Abdallahi, and Prime Minister Yaha Ould Ahmed El Waghf were today (6 August) arrested by members of the country's armed forces. Germany appeals therefore to all political forces in Mauritania to resolve the current crisis by peaceful means and in accordance with the constitution.

According to reports reaching the Federal Foreign Office, the President of the Islamic Republic of Mauritania, Sidi Mohamed Ould Cheikh Abdallahi, and Prime Minister Yaha Ould Ahmed El Waghf were today (6 August) arrested by members of the country's armed forces. At present their whereabouts and the overall situation in Mauritania remain unclear.

Federal Foreign Office Spokesperson Jens Plötner today made the following comments on the situation in Mauritania:

"We are following with grave concern the reports of a coup in Mauritania by sections of the country's armed forces. Despite immense economic problems, Mauritania has over the past three years made important progress in strengthening the rule of law and democracy, as the free presidential and general elections made clear. This progress must not now be put at risk.

Germany appeals therefore to all political forces in Mauritania to resolve the current crisis by peaceful means and in accordance with the constitution. The country's legitimate, democratically elected institutions must be able to resume their work as soon as possible. But above all it is absolutely vital to avoid bloodshed."

The German Embassy in Nouakchott is keeping a close watch on developments and is in intensive contact with those German nationals in the country known to the Federal Foreign Office.

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