In Mauritania, the new Prime Minister, Lieutenant Colonel Ahmed Ould Bousseif, told a recent news conference that former government ministers would be released from detention.
SV INTERIOR Mauritanian Prime Minister Ahmed Ould Bousseif speaking to newsmen at news conference (SIX SHOTS)
SV Bousseif speaking as officials and newsmen listen (SEVEN SHOTS)
In 1976, Spain ceded Mauritania and Morocco the Western Sahara, but Polisario, the Algerian-backed guerrilla force, is challenging the two countries over the region. Colonel Bousseif, who is pro-Moroccan, said the MCNS was ready to receive an Algerian delegation to discuss the conflict, and to send a diplomatic mission to Algeria to sound out the possibility of resuming normal relations.
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Background: In Mauritania, the new Prime Minister, Lieutenant Colonel Ahmed Ould Bousseif, told a recent news conference that former government ministers would be released from detention. He gave the conference a week after President Moustapha Ould Saleck dismissed his government and announced a new supreme military committee to rule under his leadership.
SYNOPSIS: Colonel Bousseif was speaking to national and international journalists. He said that prosecutors had not laid any specific charges against the ministers of the regime of former President Mokhtar Ould Daddah, who was deposed in July last year. In the interests of justice, they would be released. A few days after Colonel Bousseif's news conference, Reuters's news agency quoted informed sources in Abidjan, on the Ivory Coast, that Monsieur Ould Daddah had been released on Friday (20 April), and may soon leave Mauritania.
The sources said he might leave for Paris to have medical treatment, and then move to live in Tunisia. Colonel Bousseif said any ministers released would have to defend themselves in court after the prosecutors drew up specific charges against them. Asked about the Western Sahara conflict, Colonel Bousseif said the new ruling body, the Military Committee of National Salvation (MCNS), would follow the previous government's previous commitment to United Nations' resolution adopted on this issue.