Mauritania: opposition boycotts parliament; regime claims al-Qaeda threat

Around 30 MPs opposed to Mauritania’s ruling junta boycotted the opening of the country’s parliament Nov. 10. The boycott followed a statement from the head of the five-party Front for the Defense of Democracy (FNDD), Mohamed Ould Moloud, who called the session “pointless and without an aim” in “the absence of a legal government and legitimate president.” Police deployed in front of the parliament building in Nouakchott, and carried out checks on the surrounding streets. (AFP, Nov. 10)

Days before the session opened, anonymous officials claimed to have detected and dismantled an al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb support cell operating in Nouakchott. The source said the cell contained at least 12 members from different Mauritanian cities, including two high school teachers from Aleg, where four French tourists were slain late last year. “We believe this has been a major achievement as this cell was helping in terrorist attacks,” an unnamed security source said Nov. 4. (UPI, Nov. 4)

See our last posts on Mauritania, the Sahel, and al-Qaeda.