Mauritania to repatriate its 1988 Senegal based refugees

Friday, July 13, 2007

Mauritania has agreed to repatriate all Mauritanian refugees trapped in Senegal since 1988.

Thousands of Mauritanian refugees, mostly Blacks, have been living in Senegal and neighbouring Mali, following border clashes that left several people dead in 1988. The clashes have since marked the harksaw’s teeth-like relationship between the two countries.

With the coup d’état that toppled Ould Taya in 2005, Mauritania and Senegal are working to re-warm the ties between the two countries. On Monday, the newly elected Mauritanian President Ould Cheikh Abdallahi, had a 48 hour working visit in Dakar that resulted with the decision to repatriate all Mauritanian refugees.

The decision was contained in a joint communiqué issued Tuesday by Senegalese Foreign Affairs minister Cheikh Tidiane Gadio and his Mauritanian Home Affairs counterpart Yall Zakaria at the end of the Mauritanian leader’s two-day visit in Senegal. Senegalese President Abdoulaye Wade commended his Mauritanian counterpart Ould Cheikh Abdallahi’s decision to ensure the return of refugees living in Senegal and Mali.

Wade and Abdallahi also commended the "excellent relations" between Senegalese and Mauritanian private operators and urged them to pursue their efforts toward boosting trade and common investment as part of a mutually beneficial partnership. The two leaders encouraged Senegalese and Mauritanian private sector operators to hold a business forum prior to the 10th session of the Grand Cooperation Commission on a date to be announced later and underscored the need to undertake in short delays the construction of the Rosso bridge over the Senegal River.

Wade and Abdallahi renewed their attachment to the programmes being implemented within the framework of the Organisation for the Development of the Senegal River (OMVS), that also includes Mali and Guinea. Both leaders expressed their satisfaction over the progress being made in the construction of the Tangiers-Nouakchott-Dakar Trans-Saharan road and the "encouraging evolution" of the plans for the Tangiers-Casablanca-Nouadhibou -Nouakchott-Dakar sea link. About the 11th Islamic Conference (OIC) summit scheduled to take place in Dakar, Ould Abdallahi pledged his country’s full support to what he called the "great event of the Islamic Ummah (community)".

Author: Written by DO
Source: The Daily Observer Newspaper