What is Happening in Mauritania? An Analysis of the Post-Coup Transitional Period

Due to the instability that prevailed in Mauritania during the last two years of Oueld Tayeh’s regime, especially following the failed coup d’etat of June 2003 and the ensuing arrests and trials, the regime decided to get rid of Oueld Tayeh so as to prevent any changes threatening the regime from outside. Despite its unusual nature, the coup raised hopes that injustices perpetrated under Ould Tayeh’s rule for over twenty years would finally be investigated and addressed. The worst violations committed by the former regime fell into three categories, and many Mauritanians would have liked to reach closure with their painful political past during the transitional period once and for all. The three categories are the tyranny/oppression of the Africans/Blacks, the issue of slavery and economic corruption. But the military authority has until now refused to set a time for engaging in any discussion of these injustices.

The views represented in this paper are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Arab Reform Initiative, its staff, or its board.