Ousted Mauritanian president in secret custody

Ousted Mauritanian President Sidi Ould Cheikh Abdallahi is being held in military custody in the presidential guards' building, according to security sources. His daughter expressed concern over his health and safety.


The daughter of ousted Mauritanian president Sidi Ould Cheikh Abdallahi, who was arrested after a military coup, said Friday she was concerned about her father's safety and security.

"I am worried about my father's health and safety given that he has not been freed," Amal Mint Cheikh Abdallahi told AFP from her family home.

The woman had been held at the presidential palace by the military junta but was released Thursday with her mother and two brothers.

Abdallahi has been in military custody since his overthrow Wednesday. He was being held in the building of the presidential guards near the presidential palace, according to security sources.

His daughter said she had not seen her father since Wednesday and did not know where he was being held.

"No military or official source told us where he was," she said in an interview with AFP.

Abdallahi did manage to get a note to his family to ask them to send his medication, which they did.

"I will hold those who are keeping him detained responsible if anything happens to him. He was in great shape," she said.

The capital Nouakchott was reported to be calm on Friday after riot police used tear gas to break up a demonstration against the coup the day before.

Arab League officials are expected to arrive in Mauritania later on Friday as part of international mediation efforts to resolve the crisis following the coup. Mediators from the African Union were due to arrive in the northwest African country on Saturday.

Both delegations are due to meet with General Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz, the former head of the president's guard who ousted Abdallahi in a bloodless coup.

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