Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Coup d’état in Mauritania

Coups punctuate the tumultuous history of Mauritania, a vast, parched nation at the western edge of the Sahara that straddles the largely Arab North Africa region and black West Africa and is a key Western ally in the fight against terrorism. Since Mauritania won its independence from France in 1960, there have been about a dozen attempts to overthrow sitting governments, many of them successful.

Just another coup, in a sense. Yet ...

Mauritania is an Islamic republic that recognizes Israel, making it an unusual bridge between Muslim countries and the West. It sits along the volatile edge of the Sahara, a region where security officials suspect that Al Qaeda is organizing and carrying out training and attacks.

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