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Fresh talks in Dakar called to solve Mauritania stalemate

Text by NEWS WIRES

Latest update : 2009-06-21

Dakar is ready to host fresh talks between the ruling Mauritanian military junta and opposition groups, to form a transitional government ahead of presidential elections in July, but the junta's spokesman wrote off new talks as "useless".

AFP - General Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz, who led Mauritania's August military coup and is a candidate in the upcoming presidential elections, will not send any representative to new talks called by international mediators, his spokesman said Friday.

The mediators called for a new round of talks in Dakar on Saturday to solve the political crisis over the junta's refusal to symbolically cede power to a transitional government, just one month before the elections are due on July 18.

"We see no reason to go to Dakar," Ould Abdel Aziz's representative Ba Adema Moussa, who took part in earlier mediation talks on the general's behalf, told AFP.

Senegalese Foreign Minister Cheikh Tidiane Gadio, announced Thursday that there would be a new meeting with Mauritania's main political parties and the international contact group for Mauritania over the issue.

However Ba said he believed the meeting would be "useless" and accused the opposition of spending its time throwing up "deliberate blockades to try and get a new delay" in the elections.

Earlier this month all Mauritanian parties signed an agreement designed to end the political crisis in the country following the military coup.

Under the agreement a transitional government would be formed including members of the junta and anti-coup parties. Ousted president Sidi Ould Cheikh Abdallahi would step down voluntarily.

However Ould Cheikh Abdallahi is now insisting that in order for him to officially step down the junta's ruling council should dissolve, and cede power to a joint transitional government.

In the deal signed to end the crisis the fate of the junta's ruling council was not mentioned.

 

Date created : 2009-06-21