Mauritania: 3 Protesters Die In Detention Over Post-Election Unrest

Mauritania: 3 Protesters Die In Detention Over Post-Election Unrest

3 weeks ago
1 min read

Protests Erupt After Presidential Election

In Mauritania, three protesters have died in detention following mass arrests during post-election unrest in the town of Kaedi.

The country’s interior ministry announced the deaths on Tuesday, attributing them to the violent protests that erupted after the recent presidential election results were declared.

Deaths in Detention

The interior ministry reported that the unrest began late Monday in the southern town of Kaedi, near the Senegal border.

Security forces detained several individuals during the confrontation with protesters. “Unfortunately, under these circumstances, three demonstrators died. Two of them died in the detention facility in the presence of their fellow detainees, while the third died later in the hospital,” stated the ministry.

The exact causes of death and the total number of detainees remain undisclosed, but an investigation is promised.

Election Results Disputed

The unrest follows the announcement of President Mohamed Ould Ghazouani’s re-election for a second term on Sunday.

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His main rival, anti-slavery activist Biram Dah Abeid, rejected the results, alleging irregularities in the electoral process. “These results do not reflect the will of the people,” said Abeid, calling for peaceful protests against what he described as a flawed election.

Internet Restrictions

In response to the protests and to curb the spread of unrest, authorities restricted access to mobile internet on Tuesday.

Internet monitor Netblocks confirmed the disruptions, noting drops in connectivity in key areas. This measure aims to prevent the organization of further protests and the spread of potentially inflammatory information.

Historical Context of Unrest

This incident is not isolated. Mauritania has a history of post-election unrest. After the 2019 presidential vote, similar concerns over the electoral process led to small-scale protests.

The ongoing tensions reflect deep-seated issues within the country’s political landscape.

Official Statements and Public Reaction

Interior Ministry spokesperson Sidi Mohamed Ould Maham addressed the nation, urging calm and patience. “We are committed to investigating these tragic deaths thoroughly and transparently. The safety and rights of all citizens remain our top priority,” Ould Maham said.

Public reaction to the deaths has been mixed. Some citizens, like local teacher Mariam Diallo, expressed fear and frustration. “We just want our voices to be heard without violence. This situation is frightening,” Diallo said.

Others, however, support the government’s actions. “Maintaining order is crucial. We cannot let chaos rule our streets,” said shop owner Ahmed Ba.

International Response

International human rights organizations have started to voice their concerns. Amnesty International called for an independent investigation into the deaths and the conditions of detention in Mauritania. “These deaths must be thoroughly investigated, and those responsible must be held accountable,” said an Amnesty spokesperson.

The deaths of three protesters in detention highlight the volatility in Mauritania following the contested presidential election.

As the country faces scrutiny both domestically and internationally, the coming days will be crucial in determining the future of its political stability.

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Emmanuel Ochayi is a journalist. He is a graduate of the University of Lagos, School of first choice and the nations pride. Emmanuel is keen on exploring writing angles in different areas, including Business, climate change, politics, Education, and others.

Emmanuel Ochayi is a journalist. He is a graduate of the University of Lagos, School of first choice and the nations pride. Emmanuel is keen on exploring writing angles in different areas, including Business, climate change, politics, Education, and others.

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