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Vol 46 No 16

Published 5th August 2005

Reining in the military

Another coup tests the region's resolve to outlaw military rule and resolve its cross-border conflicts

The ousting of President Maaouia Ould Sid Ahmed Taya on 3 August by army officers in Mauritania and popular support for it in Nouakchott follows several coup attempts over the past two years. Taya was attending the funeral of Saudi Arabia's King Fahd when the officers struck. It is the latest in a succession of regional crises that have prompted the view of West Africa as 'resource-rich and dangerous'. Six months ago it was the demise of Togo's dictator Gnassingbé Eyadéma and the attempted usurpation of power by his son Faure Gnassingbé that pushed regional leaders into action to press for a return to constitutional rule.

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