Coup snapshots

My Mauritanian sources tell me that when the troops entered the Presidential Palace, they forced Sidi to take off his dara (the long flowy robe Mauritanian leaders often wear) and shirt (in order to establish some kind of hierarchy). His daughter, also an aide to the President, phoned AFP to put out news of the coup. She was forced to hang up (though evidently not before putting out the news; I saw a headline early this morning that attributed the news to her “Coup in Mauritania: President’s daughter” or something of that nature). The President’s wife (who many people are blaming for his downfall; this deserves a separate post on its own) smacked one of the soldiers whilst shouting. He popped her back (three times).

Another version (different sources) states that the military simply told Sidi that he could no longer be trusted and took him to a car. No one disputes the story about the daughter and wife.

I am also told, by the same source, that after Sidi [tried to] sack Chief of Staff Ghazouani, the new CoS (Col. Mohamed Mahmoud Ould Ismail) showed up at Army HQ and informed the guard that he was the Chief of Staff. The guard responded with “tiyer” or “fuck off.” (Lit. “fly off,” but equivalent to “f*ck off” in Hassaniya.)

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