Wednesday, September 23 2020


Mauritania president appoints new government

Update: August, 10/2020 - 10:23

NOUAKCHOTT — Mauritania's president appointed a new government Sunday, a top official said, after the names of several former ministers appeared in a report on the financial dealings of ex-leader Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz.

Adama Bocar Soko, the secretary general of Mauritania's presidency, told reporters in the capital Nouakchott that the move would allow all those named in the report "the time they need to prove their innocence".

The move comes after President Mohamed Ould Cheikh El Ghazouani announced a government reshuffle and replaced his prime minister on Thursday -- for reasons that were not disclosed at the time.

Sunday's announcement marks the first time Ghazouani's office has admitted that the reason behind the reshuffle was the controversial report on Aziz.

A nine-member parliamentary committee set up in January was tasked with shedding light on aspects of Aziz's 2008-19 tenure.

Matters investigated included the handling of oil revenues, the sale of state-owned property in Nouakchott, and the liquidation of a state-owned food company, according to parliamentary officials.

Mauritanian prosecutors said last Wednesday that they had received the committee's report and would open an inquiry.

Three former ministers and ex-premier Ismail Ould Bedda Ould Cheikh Sidiya were named in the report.

The new government remains substantially similar to the previous one, however, with 18 former ministers reappointed.

Soko also said that the number of ministries had also been reduced to 22, after some were fused. — AFP


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