UN: 19 August 2008 – The Security Council today condemned the recent overthrow of the Mauritanian Government by the country’s military and demanded the immediate release from detention of the national president and the restoration of democratic institutions.
The Council “opposes any attempts to change governments through unconstitutional means,” Ambassador Jan Grauls of Belgium, which holds the rotating Council presidency this month, said in a statement issued at the end of an open meeting on the issue.
Mr. Grauls called for “the immediate release of President Sidi Mohamed Ould Cheikh Abdallahi and the restoration of the legitimate, constitutional, democratic institutions,” adding that the 15-member panel condemned the actions of the State Council to seize the powers of the presidency after the coup d’état.
The statement noted the important role played by the African Union and also the efforts of Said Djinnit, the United Nations Secretary-General’s Special Representative for West Africa, to try to help restore constitutional order in Mauritania.
Mr. Djinnit and Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon have voiced similar concerns about the situation in Mauritania as a result of the government’s overthrow on 6 August.
News Tracker: past stories on this issue
Top UN envoy calls for speedy return to constitutional rule in Mauritania