Ousted Mauritania leader slams Gadhafi mediation

March 15, 2009 15:54

Mauritania's ousted president accused Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi on Sunday of siding against him in favor of the Islamic nation's military junta during a failed mediation attempt, a spokesman said. Gadhafi, who heads the African Union, visited Mauritania last week to try to resolve tensions still simmering after President Sidi Ould Cheikh Abdallahi was overthrown in a bloodless military coup last August. Instead of mediating, Gadhafi came to "impose the putschists' fait accompli," Abdallahi spokesman Ahmed Samba said. Gadhafi then called for the "the application of the junta's unilateral agenda ... which puts into peril the existence of our nation." Gadhafi urged the lifting of travel bans and asset freezes the African Union had imposed on Mauritania after the coup. He also said the body would oversee presidential elections due June 6, which may mark the only way out of the crisis.

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