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2009-06-05

Mauritanian rivals sign accord; former PM freed from prison

Ten months after the military coup in Mauritania, the country's political rivals signed an agreement Thursday (June 4th) in Nouakchott to end the constitutional crisis, ANI reported. Representatives of the three factions – former junta leader General Mohamed Ould Abdelaziz, the anti-junta coalition, and the opposition bloc of Ahmed Ould Daddah - agreed to postpone the presidential election until July 18th. The agreement also calls for the resignation of ousted former president Sidi Ould Sheikh Abdellahi, whereupon a transitional government would be established ahead of the July poll.

Senegalese President Abdoulaye Wade, who led the mediation initiative from Lemden and Nouakchott to Dakar, presided over last night's signing ceremony. "This solemn occasion marks Mauritania's return to constitutional legitimacy and therefore the debut of a new era," Journal Tahalil quoted Wade as saying.

Shortly before the accord was signed, ousted Prime Minister Yahya Ould Ahmed Waghf was freed from Nouakchott's Dar Naim prison, AFP reported, noting that Waghf's release was one of the conditions that needed to be met before the agreement could be signed.

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