[QODLink]
Africa
Mauritania military frees PM
Deposed prime minister immediately denounces coup and says country will not accept it.
Last Modified: 12 Aug 2008 03:02 GMT
The military is still holding President Abdallahi and says it has no plans to free him [Reuters]

Mauritania's deposed prime minister has been released from house arrest five days after he was taken hostage in a military coup.

Yahya Ould Ahmed Waqef said just hours later that his country would not accept the coup.

Waqef was detained together with Sidi Ould Cheikh Abdallahi, the country's president, and several senior government officials when troops surrounded the presidential palace in the capital, Nouackchott, last week.

Speaking to thousands of supporters hours after being freed, Waqef said the president was in good health and urged the people to continue fighting to restore the democratically-elected government.

"The president thanks you for your untiring fight, your strong fight to restore constitutional order," he said.

Waqef's release comes after a meeting on Sunday when diplomats from the United States, France, Germany and Spain met General Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz, the coup leader, to demand the release of the detained politicians.

The military also freed the interior minister and two other officials on Monday afternoon but refused to release Abdallahi and said it had no immediate plans to let him go.

Aziz launched the coup last week an hour after Abdallahi fired the country's top four generals, including him, following an increasingly bitter standoff between the president and the army.

Abdallahi, who last year won Mauritania's first free elections in over 20 years, had opposed the military's subsequent plan to hold elections on grounds that the president had failed to govern the country.

Source:
Agencies
Topics in this article
People
Country
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
Muslim volunteers face questioning and threat of arrest, while aid has been disrupted or blocked, charities say.
Six months on, outrage and sorrow over the mass schoolgirl abduction has disappeared - except for families in Nigeria.
ISIL combatants seeking an 'exit strategy' from Mideast conflict need positive reinforcement back home, analysts say.
European nation hit by a wave of Islamophobia as many young fighters join ISIL in Syria and Iraq.
Featured
Lack of child protection laws means abandoned and orphaned kids rely heavily on the care of strangers.
At least 25 tax collectors have been killed since 2012 in Mogadishu, a city awash in weapons and abject poverty.
Since she was 16-years-old, Scottish Nationalist Party's Sturgeon has strove for independence from the UK.
Armed group's ransom success with German hostages marks a re-emergence, as authorities investigate ISIL links.
Western nations are moving into the resource-rich country after decades of disinterest, challenging China's interests.