The new coup

Readers are invited to comment on the potential affects of the recent coup in Guinea on Mauritania, both internally and externally.

Update: Here is the Algerian postition, such as it exits at the moment.

One thought on “The new coup

  1. Still difficult to assess. Looks for me that Guinea is following the same path as the coup in 2005 with the transition by CMJD that the poliical class in Mauritania accepted, thinking that the military were playing fair game. They did not and with what we know now, it was a tribal coup d’ etat. All ended up with relatives surrounding the power house: Ely, Aziz, the sister Khattou, Mohcen Ould El Haj, Bouamatou. They trapped a weak and corrupt first family (Sidi and Khattou) by providing Khattou with money to set up her foundation and influenced Sidi to take in some corrupt politician from Ould Taya’s era (x ould y called them Roumouz El Vessad). Of course parastals were used to give money to Khattou through her foundation. Then, to make sure that Ely will not be given a chance to run in 2012, Aziz started using cases of corruption to bring down Sidi through his relatives and puppets in the Parliament and the Senate. We know the rest: Sidi had no other alternative, but to dismiss Aziz who became in the meantime a General above others who deserved more that promotion. Ghazwani et Felix were just “bouche-trous”. Aziz has a high hand on key positions in the army and other security forces as he placed his friends in the military in these key position. You heard about the condenmation of the African Union and the deadline of 5 February to reliquish power or face visa restriction and freezing of assets outside. The AU will not move back and will easily make its decision accepted by the UN Security Council. And then it is finished for the Junta, although Sarkozy and Merkel are trying to back the junta. Spain is joining in. But the sanctions will go and Germany/Spain will drop Sarko in February/March. Accepting the fait accompli is a bad precedent and that might make some countries fall under the military.

    Now for the implication of the coup in Guinea on Mauritania these days.

    Very bad for the Mauritanian junta as the AU is nervous and will not let go. Never. Because Nigeria, Tanzania (chair of the AU), South Africa and Algeria will not give up and Jean Ping is powerless without these countries. The reasons for these countries holding on their positions is as follows:

    – Tanzania: Kikwete is a true democrat, believes in the AU and does not want his chairmanship of the panafrican institution to be less than perfect. From time to time he does not accept to give in to Wade who sometimes prefer “friends” to principles;

    – South Africa: they don’t give in something contrary to the AU ideals to keep their leadership. I remember that they are supporting the Polisario stance because of that fear of losing their leadership stance;

    – Algeria: clear that the junta is pro-moroccan and against the Sahrawi stance for no obvious reason, but family and interest ties to Morocco. Knowing these days that Messaoud and Ahmed Ould Daddah were directly talking to the military, insteqd of Sidi, they both made the blunder we know: Ahmed saying in an interview that the Sahara issue is a Morocco-Algeria issue in an interview in Jeune Afrique around election time in April 2007 and Messaoud saying to Moroccan that the country is supporting the Moroccan position over Sahara. Messaoud had to retract what he said publicly, but we know he said so out of naivity. Of course direct access to Atlantic Ocean is one raison no one is talking about.

    This is in a nutshell what I believe is the core of this mess. You can add to it as France, the US, China and Russia are in competition in the whole Sahara-Sahel region and no one knows exactly what game they are playing, but to have access to oil and gas from Guinea to Algeria, passing through Niger and Mali that seem to join soon the club of energy exporters.

    The above is what I have in mind.

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