The Africa Democracy Forum (ADF), a World Movement regional network of over 450 democracy and human rights organization throughout Africa, has issued a statement (below) condemning the coup d'etat in Mauritania.

The statement is available online at www.africandemocracyforum.org.

On Wednesday, 6 August 2008, the military generals launched a coup d.etat in Mauritania and overthrew President Sidi Ould Cheikh Abdallahi, who came into power as a result of the country's first democratic election in 2007. This coup came after the president sought to replace several military leaders. The generals immediately formed a 11-member Ruling Council to run the country, and the Council announced its intention to hold a presidential election as soon as possible.

This coup violates the rights of the people of Mauritania by disregarding the democratic choice that people in Mauritania made in 2007 to end the 2-year military rule after the 2005 coup. It also acts against the democratic progress that the country as well as the African continent have made in recent years. Responding to the coup, ADF joins civil society organizations in Mauritania to:
  • Condemn the coup against the democratically-elected government and the violation of the Constitution,
  • Call for the immediate restoration of a constitutional order and democratic processes,
  • Recognise and commend the AU's current stance in speaking out against the coup plotters and to encourage this institution, in collaboration with the international community and its partners, to continue to reject the current state of affairs and to facilitate a peaceful resolution while protecting the rights of the citizens of Mauritania.
  • Urge the United Nations, African Union, and other members of the international community to reject the recognition of the new Ruling Council and help protect democratic rights of the Mauritanian people, and
  • Appeal democracy and human rights organisations in Africa and around the world to join efforts of Mauritanian civil society to defend rights of the people, advance further democratic values, and ensure the immediate restoration of the democratic institutions in the country.
8 August 2008

Hannah Forster
Chairperson

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