In Mauritania, nine months after the bloodless cup which brought him to power, the President Lt.
In Mauritania, nine months after the bloodless cup which brought him to power, the President Lt. Colonel Mustapha Ould Salek has reshuffled his government, replacing four senior ministers, including the Foreign Minister Cheikhna Ould Mohamed Lakhdaf. President Ould Salek announce the changed on Thursday (22 March).
SYNOPSIS: The announcement comes at a critical time for the government, as Mauritania is holding talks with the Algerian-backed Polisario Front to end a three year old guerrilla war in the former Spanish Sahara. the territory had been ceded to Morocco and Mauritania. Recently, President Ould Salek had indicated that the peace negotiations were going smoothly. Some political commentators said the government changes meant hard-liners in the old cabinet had been dropped. Although the President did not elaborate on his decision, he did say the country was facing "an exceptional situation". He said, "We must arm ourselves with much patience."
Apart from the post of foreign Minister, there were changes as well in the Interior and Finance ministries, and in Transport. These changes appeared to reflect the government's concert for rebuilding the economy, seriously affected by the conflict with the polisario.