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Mauritania Needs Prompt Return To Rule Of Law - UN

Top UN envoy calls for speedy return to constitutional rule in Mauritania

12 August 2008 - The top United Nations envoy to West Africa has called for an immediate return to constitutional rule in Mauritania after wrapping up a three-day visit to the country, where military leaders last week overthrew the Government.

The Secretary-General's Special Representative, Said Djinnit, met with General Mohamed Ould Abdelaziz, the new head of the High State Council.

During those talks, the envoy voiced regret that the 6 August coup had taken place and stressed the international community has unanimously condemned the move.

Mr. Djinnit urged authorities to respect international obligations, such as those on human rights, and appealed to the General to release President Sidi Mohamed Ould Cheikh Abdallahi, who remains under arrest, as well as other detained persons, who have since been released.

While in Mauritania, Mr. Djinnit held consultations with members of the Government, various political parties and representatives of civil society and labour unions. He also met with visiting officials of the African Union and the League of Arab States.

In a statement issued on 6 August, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon noted that the recently toppled Government was democratically elected last June, and "called for respect for the rule of law and for the immediate restoration of constitutional order in the country."

ENDS

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