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Mauritania's Ousted President Moved to Village


Mauritania's ousted president Sidi Ould Cheikh Abdallahi has been moved from detention in the capital Nouakchott to house arrest in his home village, about four months after a coup installed a military government.

A member of the ruling junta accompanied Mr. Abdallahi on the journey to Lemden village early Thursday, about 200 kilometers from the capital.

Government officials say the former president will be kept under surveillance, but will be allowed to meet people.

The United States and the European Union, which have cut some aid including help with anti-terrorism training, had called for his release and return to power.

The EU has warned coup leader General Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz to restore Mauritania's democratically-elected leadership before November 20 or face sanctions.

The African Union has suspended Mauritania's membership and also warned of possible sanctions.

After taking power, General Abdel Aziz accused Mr. Abdallahi of being weak against Islamic extremists, creating divisions in the army, and allowing corruption to worsen.

Two weeks after the coup, the national assembly passed a law creating a special court to try the deposed president and his wife on charges of corruption and failed leadership.

There have been occasional protests in Nouakchott demanding a return to civilian rule, but police have quickly broken up all demonstrations.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.

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