Spain condemns military coup in Mauritania
Spain demands release of the country’s president and prime minister held hostage by the general.7 August 2008
MADRID - Spain has condemned a military coup in Mauritania, demanding that the generals who took the country's democratically elected president and prime minister hostage on Wednesday immediately return them to power.
"[Spain] strongly condemns and regrets that the constitutional and democratic order has been subverted," Deputy Prime Minister María Teresa Fernández de la Vega said from Mexico, where she is on an official visit.
The EU and the United States also condemned the overthrow of Sidi Ould Cheikh Abdallahi, who took office in 2007 following Mauritania's first-ever democratic presidential elections.
Spanish officials said around 150 Spaniards known to be living in Mauritania are safe despite the military taking over the streets and shutting down the country's TV and radio stations.
Many of the Spaniards are embassy staff, although they include around 30 aid workers and 25 Civil Guard officers based in the city of Nouadhibou, where they have been monitoring clandestine migration routes as part of increased cooperation between the two nations to guard the route to the Canary Islands, 300 kilometres to the west.
[El Pais / Expatica]