Mauritania’s Post-Election Protests: 3 Deaths Reported

At least three people have died in skirmishes between security forces and demonstrators in Mauritania, authorities announced on Tuesday, just days after the presidential election.

An undefined number of persons were reportedly hurt.

Demonstrations erupted in the capital and around the country late Monday after President Mohamed Ould Ghazouani was declared the winner of the election.

His comfortable victory in the first round secures the former army chief’s second term in office.

However, Biram Dah Abeid, the second-place candidate and a well-known anti-slavery activist, protested what he called “massive fraud” on Monday, claiming that the results were faked.

He immediately called for “peaceful demonstrations and peaceful gatherings.”

Authorities claimed security personnel confronted demonstrators in Kaedi, the country’s largest city and an opposition bastion with a sizable Black population.

Demonstrations also broke out in the cities of Nouadhibou, Rosso Zoueirat, and Boghe, all of which are Abeid strongholds.

Following Monday’s confrontations, mobile internet connection was barred as police pledged to arrest those responsible for the bloodshed.

The electoral commission, which includes officials from major parties, has rejected opposition charges of voting irregularities.

Three international election observer missions also stated in preliminary remarks on Monday that voting took place in a “peaceful and transparent atmosphere”.

Ghazouani’s opponents have accused him of corruption and inefficiency, but he remains popular among Mauritanians, who consider him as a source of stability.

For generations, Mauritania’s economic and political elite of Arab and Amazigh people enslaved Black people from northwestern Sahara.

Slavery was abolished in Mauritania in 1981, making it the world’s last country to do so, although human rights groups claim the practice continues.

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