President Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz of Mauritania has ruled out any participation of his country in the war against the Islamic militants that had taken control of the northern regions of Mali.
President Ould Abdel Aziz, on Thursday evening told a news conference in Nouakchott that the Mauritanian army had in the past intervened out of its borders, to protect its territory from its attackers.
Twice, in June and October 2011, the Mauritanian armed forces launched an offensive against bases held by Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) in the Wagadou forest in northern Mali.
Through this preemptive action, he said Nouakchott wanted to nip in the bud, any attempt by AQIM to launch attacks on Mauritanian territory.
Ould Abdel Aziz however declared in his press conference that the army would defend the national territory in case of external threat. The Malian town of Lere, near the Mauritanian border,; for instance, has been under the control of the Islamic group Ansar Eddine, affiliated to AQIM.
Source African Press Agency
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