Thursday, October 22, 2009

Mauritania, History (contd-2)

In 1979, the Polisario broke off the cease-fire and unleased a string of new attacks on military and government targets. Mauritania , under its new govt. , immediately returned to the table to meet Polisario's goals, declaring full peace, a troop retreat, relinquishing their portion of western Sahara and recognizing the Front as the Sahrawi people's sole representative . Morocco, occupying the northern half of western Sahara and also involved in combat against Polisario,reacted with outrage, and launched a failed coup (1981) against the CMSN. Mauritania broke off relations with Rabat in protest, although ties were later restored .
In Interior policy, Haidallah sought to improve relations between Moors and Black Africans, among other things officially decreeing the ban of slavery for the first time in the country's history,
but he neither tried nor achieved a radical break with the sectarian and discriminating policies of previous regimes. An attempt to reinstate civilian rule was abondoned after the above mentioned Moroccan-sponsored coup attempt nearly brought down the regime. foreign-backed plots also involved Persian Gulf countries and Libya , and the country several times appeared to be under military threat from Morocco.
On Dec. 12, 1984, Maaouya Ould Sid'Ahmed Taya deposed Haidallah and declared himself chairman of the CMSN, Like other rulers before him, he promised a swift transfer to democracy , but then made little of these promises.
The discord between conflicting visions of Mauritanian society as either black or Arab, again rose to the surface during the inter-communal violences that broke out in April 1989, when a Mauritanian-Senegal border dispute escalated into violence between the two communities. Tens of thousands of black Mauritanians fled or were expelled from the country, and many remain in Senegal as refugees. This is also where the black Mauritanianmovement FLAM is based. Although tension tension has been subsided , the Arab-African racial tensions remain an important feature of the political dialog today. The tension continues betwee the black Africans and Arab -Berber populace. A significant number from both groups , however, seek a more diversive,pluralistic society.