Mauritanians took to the streets in a massive march calling for the end of their country's military rule.
The march, on June 23, 2012, was organised by the Coordination of Democratic Opposition (COD). It started near the Youth Centre in the capital Nouakchott, passing by the Security Directorate and the Palace of Justice, where participants chanted for the fall of the ruling regime. The day ended with a popular rally.
Speakers insisted on the necessity of ending the current regime, stressing they will not enter into negotiation with the military. “Marches and protests show that the people reject the regime and they represent all what remains to Mauritanians of hope to preserve the state,” said Ely Ould Mohamed Vall, the country's former president.
This event follows a call by the People's Progressive Alliance leader Messaoud Ould Boulkheir to the opposition to initiate a dialogue with the regime of Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz in order to put an end to the current crisis which has been raging in the country for more than a year. Ould Boulkheir met with all opposition parties in Mauritania introducing the initiative to them and asking them to endorse it.
Boulkheir's initiative was met with fury by the February 25th Youth Movement [ar – fr], which has been calling for the ouster of the regime for more than a year. The movement also launched a Facebook campaign entitled “No to Saving the General” which asks various political parties to boycott the initiative.
Likewise, “For Mauritania” organization, issued a document [ar] explaining why Mauritanians should demand the departure of the military regime.
Mauritanian blogger Dedda Ould Cheikh Brahim attended the protest and wrote about it:
The Facebook Page of the Youth Organization “تواصل” – Tewassoul (Communication), posted more than 92 photos of the event. It said:
News about the rally was also spread by Mauritanian Twitter users, like Mejd, who noted:
Taha Ould Habib for his part denounced the lack of coverage by Al Jazeera Channel for the opposition march:
One day before the protest Moustapha Ould Bab Ahmed tweeted about the distribution of fish to the poor by the government so as to dissuade them from taking part in the rally.