Mauritania's military regime has dismissed as illogical and
unrealistic demands by the African Union for the re-installation next week of
deposed President Sidi Mohamed Ould Cheikh Abdallahi. Coup leader General Mohamed
Ould Abdel Aziz reportedly said the African Union's ultimatum is neither
constructive nor positive and would not be in Mauritania's interest. The
African Union gave the military junta a deadline
of October 6 to restore constitutional order and reinstate Abdallahi, the
country's first democratically elected president.
States and the European Union have unanimously condemned the coup and demanded the
country's return to constitutional rule. Kabiru Mato is a political science
professor at Nigeria's University of Abuja. From Kaduna he tells reporter Peter
Clottey that there was a need for the international community to commit to
military intervention to restore democracy.
"It's virtually not possible
for the military junta to want to willingly restore the civilian government
that they overthrew. The only condition that you can get that actualized is
when some major force is being dangled. If the African Union, for instance is
able to organize or mobilize a strategic military power and it becomes very
obvious to the military junta in Mauritania that some major force is going to
be adopted, obviously they would think of reinstating the civilian president,"
He said empty warnings and
ultimatum would not be sufficient to put pressure on the military regime to
give up power.
"Just as the level of
political platitudes, it is not obviously going to be possible and it is not
going to be realizable. And the African Union would continue to make such
noises because apparently, it lacks the political machinery this time around
I'm referring to military capability to really go to Mauritania and reinstate
the overthrown president," he said.
Mato said it was important
for the international community to back up its words with a lot of action.
"This is not the first time
that the international organizations would always come out and make far
reaching noise on matters like this. But what remains a reality actually is the
capacity of the international organization to really use some major coercion in
its drive to the actual realization for whatever it was trying to do. Both the
United Nations and the African Union and whichever organization for that matter
lacks the capacity to organize military action. It would be considered perhaps
to be as an act of aggression if these international organizations should try
to mobilize military formations with the view to restoring the overthrown the
civilian government," Mato pointed out.
He said military regimes
don't easily yield to verbal threats from the international community.
"Governments like these,
especially military people taking over power have since come to the realization
that it is a matter of perhaps political semantics on the part of international
non-governmental organizations to continue call for restoration of and things
like that without necessarily making any contingency plans with the strategic
objective of in the event that the military junta would fail to adhere to the
call can now be step and forcefully cause the reinstatement of the overthrown
government," he said.
Mato described the military
junta's actions as a flagrant disregard for any international rules.
"That is basically the
position of coupists whenever they take over power. I tell you, any attempt to
logically and politically negotiate their exit out of power by asking them to
reinstate the other government that was overthrown I think to me sounds really
apolitical. So, what's obvious here is that it is fundamental that if at all
the international community is interested in having the president that was
overthrown back on his feet then some major violence and force must be applied
on the present ruling class in Mauritania," Mato noted.