“You have failed”

Mohamed Mustafa Badr al-Din, MP for the Union of Forces for Progress (UFP), sits in the opposition camp. He recently laid out a laundry list of the Ould Abdel Aziz government’s “failures” in a speech before PM Moulay Mohamed Ould Laghdaf, critiquing the government at practically every level of its stated agenda From Ould Abdel Aziz’s self-proclaimed “presidency of the poor” to combating terrorism to $50 million missing “without justification” from the Central Bank, Badr al-Din slams his General’s record. It gives a flavor of the way that many in the opposition at large (and others who are simply fed up with the current situation) prioritize and are looking at the situation, of course with the UFP’s and Badr al-Din’s own particularism and interests, too.

Choice selections, quickly translated with minor liberties:

“كانت مبرراتكم للانقلاب علي الديمقراطية فى السادس اغسطس 2008 هي:

تصحيح الوضع الاقتصادي، تحقيق الامن، مكافحة الفساد ومحاربة الفقر ولقد بين تقرير وزارة الشؤون الاقتصادية والتنمية 2008، فشلكم فى الهدف الاول، حيث ورد فيه ان سنة 2009 كانت اسوأ من 2008 في المجال الاقتصادي، كما بينت احداث تورين ولكصر والسفارة الفرنسية واختطاف الاجانب، فشلكم فى الهدف الثاني المتعلق بالامن.

وتبين من اختفاء مبالغ ضخمة في عهدكم دون مبرر (50 مليون دولار امريكي) من البنك المركزي وامتناعكم عن الاعلان عن ممتلكاتكم، في حين تطاردون الاخرين علي الحقير والنقير دون احترام ما بين فصل السلطات وحقوق الافراد، كل ذلك اظهر عجزكم عن تحقيق هدف مكافحة الفساد وحتي فى انفسكم.

ويشكل تخلي حكومتكم عن الزراعة والتنمية الحيوانية والتعليم والصحة وكافة القطاعات ذات الصلة بمكافحة الفقر وتجميد الرواتب ورفع الضرائب علي المواد الاساسية، فشلا صارخا في مكافحة الفقر.

It was the [stated] objective of you who overthrew democracy on the sixth of August, 2008 to:

Correct the economic situation, achieve security, to fight against corruption and to fight poverty; as it is shown in the 2008 Report of the Ministry of Economic and Social Affairs, you have failed in the first goal where it shows that 2009 was worse than 2008 in the economic sphere; as shown by the events of Ksour and Tourine and the French Embassy and the kidnappings of foreigners, you have failed in your second goal where security is concerned.

Shown in the disappearance of huge sums [of money] (50 million USD) from the Central Bank during your administration without justification and your abstention from disclosing your properties, while hunting and despicable others, disregarding the separation of powers and the rights of the individual, all exposed your deficiency in achieving the goal of combating corruption amongst even yourselves.

The government has abandoned agriculture, livestock, development, education, health and all the other sectors relevant and instead frozen salaries, raised taxes on basic materials; a blatant failure against poverty.

He continues:

وتراجعت الحريات الاساسية فى عهدكم، بحيث صار ضرب الناس بالهروات والقنابل المسيلة للدموع وتجريد النساء في الشوارع واعتقال الصحفيين ومحاكمتهم وابقائهم في السجن بدون اي امر قضائي، مثال حنفي، ميزة بارزة لنظامكم واقفلت وسائل الاعلام العمومية امام الراي الاخر وسخرت للدعايات الرخيصة ضد الخصوم السياسيين والنيل من الناس وكرامتهم وتمجيد البطل الجديد بالدعايات الكاذبة

واختفت معايير الكفاءة والأحقية في التعيينات الإدارية، حيث تم طرد الموظفين الأكفاء، حتى الذين يمنحهم القانون مأمورية محددة في الزمن يمنع عزلهم قبل انتهائها، كرئيس المحكمة العليا ومحافظ البنك المركزي الموريتاني، هؤلاء عزلوا لإيمانهم بقوانين الجمهورية الاسلامية الموريتانية وتم استبدالهم برهط من المخلصين، لا للجمهورية ولكن للبطل الجديد. ومع هذا تتكلمون عن الفساد والاصلاح فاي فساد اكبر من التلاعب بالمؤسسات الجمهورية وبحريات الناس الجماعية والفردية ومن تكريس عبادة الفرد؟

السيد الوزير الاول، يشكل النظام الضريبي الجديد لسنة 2010 ضربة للقوي الشرائية للمواطنين، فالضريبة علي الارز وعلي المحروقات وعلي المكالمات الهاتفية والسيارات وزيادة الضريبة علي القيمة المضافة، تستهدف لقمة العيش اليومية لمئات لالاف من الاسر الجائعة.

ويقضي اتفاق دكار الفقرة الرابعة النقطة 7 بمواصلة الحوار بين الفقراء السياسيين من أجل:

ـ استمرار الشراكة بين السلطة المنتخبة والمعارضة في جو من المصالحة والاستقرار،

ـ الإصلاحات المؤسسية والدستورية لتعميق الديمقراطية وإصلاح قوات الأمن وقوات الجيش،

ـ التفاهم حول مكافحة الفساد وحول الانتخابات القادمة.

وقد مرت حتى الآن 5 أشهر دون التقدم خطوة واحدة في هذا المجال فما هي المبررات؟.

السيد الوزير الاول،

[. . .]

إن موريتانيا اليوم بحاجة أكثر إلى دولة قانون ومؤسسات قوية وصحافة حرة وصحفيين أحرارا من أمثال حنفي ولد الدهاه ووسائل إعلام للجميع ومكافحة للفساد لا بالفساد وتحسين لظروف معيشة المواطنين الفقراء، فعلا لا قولا فقط وموريتانيا بحاجة إلى الانفتاح والحوار بين قواها السياسية والمدنية للتغلب على التحديات التي تواجهها إنها بحاجة إلى ذلك أكثر من حاجتها إلى الرجل القوي لكي لا أقول الدكتاتوري المستبد.

Fundamental freedoms have fallen during your administration, thus hitting people with batons and tear gas canisters, stripping women in the streets, arresting journalists and trying and keeping them in prison without any court order, Hanevy for example. A prominent feature of your regime is to close off the public media from other opinions and ridicule them for cheap propaganda against political opponents at the cost of the people’s dignity, and glorifying the new hero based on false claims.

And gone are the standards of efficiency and merit recruitment and [good] management [in government positions], with the expulsion of qualified staff, even those who are given a specific duty by law [. . .] such as the Supreme Court and the Governor of the Central Bank of Mauritania, they have cut off their faith in the laws of the Islamic Republic of Mauritania and have been replaced by the entourage of the faithful — not just for the Republic but also for the new champion. However, you are talking about corruption and reform — but what corruption is greater than the manipulation institutions of the Republic and the collective freedoms of the people, personality cults and the consolidation of personal [rule]?

Mr. Minister, the new tax system for the year 2010 is a powerful blow to the citizen’s purchasing power: taxing rice, petrol and telephones and automobiles, increasing the value added tax, aimed the highest priorities for hundreds of thousands of hungry families.

Under the seventh paragraph of the fourth point of the Dakar Agreement [it says] . . .politicians agree to:

Continued partnership between the elected and the opposition in an atmosphere of reconciliation and stability,

Institutional and constitutional reforms to deepen democracy and the reform of the security forces and military troops,

Understanding on the fight against corruption and the upcoming elections,

So far we have come five months without progress toward one step in this area, what is the justification?

[. . .]

Mauritania today needs more rule of law and stronger institutions, a free press and free journalists, so free Hanevy Ould Dahah, and the media for all; [it needs] anti-corruption that is not [itself] corruption and the improvement of the living conditions among poor citizens; Mauritania needs real not only rhetorical openness and dialogue between political and civil forces to overcome the challenges it faces. It needs all this more than it needs a strongman, let alone to say authoritarian dictatorship.

Note: Hanevy recently “fell” and hit his head while being moved from his prison cell and is said to be semi-comatose. He ended his fifteen-day hunger strike as result of prodding from religious authorities (from his former Qur’an teacher and that others declared his strike haram (as a form of “suicide”), likely with the backing of the government to paint the leftist as a dis-believer as a way of discrediting him). Hanevy Ould Dahah is the editor of Taqadoumy, jailed for six months and then re-arrested without charge in December.

7 thoughts on ““You have failed”

  1. Thanks Kal. You caputred this below well regarding the request from his old Koran teacher:

    ‘ …likely with the backing of the government to paint the leftist as a dis-believer as a way of discrediting him)”.

  2. This (below) is a hell of an article on FARCAIDA. Well researched with anonymous US sources. However, I get the impression that its purpose is to scare the hell out of everybody regarding the danger posed by FARC, Chavez, AQIM and terrorism. Ok for all the difficulties that Chavez is giving DEA to spotcheck on drug trade home. But there is nothing that is barring the US, France and other Western countries in the Sahara-Sahel to do their job in spotting these planes coming in from Colombia and Venezuela. General Ward has said last week that the US has some bases (temporary or for the long haul) in Tamanrasset (Algeria) and Gao (Mali) and I guess he is not lying. The Flintock stuff is spending hundreds of millions of USD to help Mali, Mauritania, Algeria and probably Niger to fight against terrorism. They have the most sophisticated surveillance gear over this part of the world. But still no one was capable of catching up any plane or any terrorist. Even after ransoms are paid and the 50-300 AQIM figheter are alone until the next hostage taking or the next attack.

    Interesting article, but at the end a good publicity to install military bases and this is ging crescendo these few weeks/months. I still believe that there was not a gram of coke in that big plane that landed in Terkint, the hometown of Baba Ould Cheikh (he is the mayor of Tarkint) and unavoidable go-between for arranging the payment of ransoms and certainly getting his cut of the deal.

    Finally, the conspiracy theory of Jeremy Keenan is closer to the truth than what DEA, CIA, DRS, the Mauritanian and Malian secret services are leaking through the press. Sahara-Sahel is in a state of advanced waziristanization than before. This article from Reuters look like the storylines of El Watan and la Liberté. Is there a connection between the Algerian military and the US on this?

    What do you think, honest people?

    http://temoust.org/al-qaeda-linked-to-rogue-aviation,13100

    • Excellent read. That issue of VQR is interesting and informative and useful all round (except the article on Camus and Algeria). Would like to see more such on the ground reportage .

  3. I missed the one on Camus and Algeria. Going back to read it. By the way thanks for your earlier post on El Majlissi. I think Mauritanians have no clue on what is going to happen with the islamists.

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