Mauritanians call for return into ECOWAS

Paris- France (PANA) -- Mauritanian immigrants in France want their country to rejoin the Economic Community of West African States it left in December 1999.
Authorities in Mauritania need to review their decision on pulling out of the ECOWAS that was taken without a popular consultation, said Yacer Ould Yessa, external relations secretary of SOS-Slaves, a Mauritanian non-governmental organisation.
Ould Yessa told PANA Tuesday that his country's withdrawal from the regional grouping had nothing to do with the dual Arab- African identity of Mauritania.
"On leaving ECOWAS, the authorities took it on themselves to break the ties between Mauritania and Black Africa.
" The regime adopted an Arabisation policy that was characterised with denial of fundamental liberties of the people, Ould Yessa said, pointing out that it was for that reason his NGO had no legal status in Mauritania.
"Our organization was banned by a judicial decision in 1998 on the grounds that it tarnished the country's image.
We meet clandestinely to draft our annual reports," he said, urging Mauritanians to start a dialogue on national issues.
Other Mauritanian immigrants urged the authorities in Nouakchott to open dialogue both on the question of Mauritania's return into ECOWAS and on governance.
According to historian Saidou Kane, Mauritania is suffering from a lack of democracy.
"The question of Mauritania's return into ECOWAS and that of the fight against slavery are political issues.
The solution will only be found by eradicating the domination of one group of people by another," Ould Yessa said.

04 june 2002 23:48:00




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