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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Mauritania, August 2005: Justice and Democracy, or Just Another Coup?
Author:N'Diaye, BoubacarISNI
Periodical:African Affairs: The Journal of the Royal African Society
Geographic term:Mauritania
Subjects:coups d'état
Politics and Government
History and Exploration
Military, Defense and Arms
External link:https://www.jstor.org/stable/3876810
Abstract:A military coup abruptly ended Ould Taya's authoritarian regime in Mauritania, one of the longest-running regimes in West Africa. The bloodless coup broke a dangerous political impasse and stopped what seemed to be a slide towards breakdown and violence. Using the democratization literature, this article explains its root causes and evaluates the prospects for the establishment of a genuine democracy after two decades of a repressive military and then quasi-military regime. It argues that several variables combined to seal the regime's fate. These are essentially the deeply flawed, tribally based, make-believe democracy, Ould Taya's own troubled personality, and finally, the security apparatus's withdrawal of its backing. The article also argues that the new military junta's first decisions appear encouraging enough but that its determination to keep a tight control over the transition process and avoid the fundamental aspects of Mauritania's malaise may jeopardize genuine long-term democratization. Bibliogr., notes, ref., sum. [Journal abstract]