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Mauritanian Government Asks UN for Help Organize Elections

Mauritania's military government is asking the United Nations to help organize elections in that West African nation.

The Foreign Ministry in Nouakchott said Saturday it is requesting U.N. help in arranging for election observers as well as technical and logistical assistance for the vote.

The 17-member ruling military council that took power August 3 has promised to hold parliamentary and presidential elections within two years. The elections are meant to bring democracy to the country.

Mauritania's ousted president, Maaouiya Ould Sid'Ahmed Taya, was overthrown earlier this month in a bloodless coup staged while he was out of the country.

The military council that overthrew Mr. Taya appointed national police chief Colonel Ely Ould Mohammed Vall as the country's interim leader.

Some information for this report provided by AP and AFP.