Friday, August 27, 2004

Mauritania Accuses Libya Of Coup Plot

Mauritania's government today accused both Libya and Burkina Faso of being behind a foiled plot to overthrow President Maaouiya Ould Taya.

NOUAKCHOTT - Already tense relations between Mauritania and Libya have been jarred by new accusations that Tripoli was behind a foiled plot to overthrow President Maaouiya Ould Taya.

And while Burkina Faso, whose President Blaise Compaore is a long-time ally of Libyan leader Colonel Moamer Kadhafi, is also accused of backing the failed putsch on August 9, Tripoli is bearing the brunt of the accusations.

Observers in Nouakchott said Friday that the coup, allegedly timed to coincide with a trip to France by the president, was a hostile response by Kadhafi to Mauritania's diplomatic ties to Israel.

Kadhafi has excoriated the pro-Western government of Taya since it opened relations in 1999 with the "Zionist menace".

In return, Mauritania has repeatedly accused Libya of fomenting dissent among its mostly Muslim population of 2.7 million people, spread out across the arid nation the size of France and Spain combined.

Pro-government media have made no secret of their convictions that Kadhafi was involved a June 8, 2003 putsch that was put down by loyalist military after 36 hours of fighting in Nouakchott, though Taya himself has been more circumspect.
The same Khadafi that is now back in grace with the EU and the US.

The leopard and his spots, mark my words.