In praise of Col. Ely, God bless and safeguard Mauritania [Archives:2007/1045/Opinion]

April 26 2007

By: Hassan Al-Haifi
Amidst all the misery and tribulations one sees throughout the Middle East and North Africa, mostly thanks to the rule of untiring and relentless dictators serving the interests of those who seek to bleed the region of all its bountiful resources, one is relieved very much to see the very respectable recent developments in the Islamic Republic of Mauritania.

On April 19th, the leader of the military junta that has ruled in Nouakchott for the last year and a half, Col. Ely Ould Mohamed Vall, took the only once precedence of abdicating his ruler's seat to the newly freely elected President, Sidi Ould Sheikh Abdallahi. This was a very welcome and heart relieving move by an enlightened African leader and patriot. Colonel Ely has indeed entered his name in the history books of his nation and the entire region, while his predecessors and all the likes found throughout the region will have their names even thrown out of garbage dumps, let alone out of history books.

It goes without saying that some two and a half decades ago or so another great Arab leader, who took over the helms in a very troubled country, the Republic of the Sudan, likewise transferred full authority to the freely elected government of Former Prime Minister (Dr.) Sadiq Al-Mahdi. However Col. Suar Al-Dhahab's kind gesture to his people and the fine example he set out for all the rest of the dictators (royal, military or partisan) that continue to transgress on every human rights that their people are endowed by God with. But alas, that short-lived remarkable development was not left to take its normal historical route to success and prosperity for the rich country of the Sudan and its proud and highly cultured people. The evil dictatorships that surround the Sudan (surely Egyptian intelligence and Saudi money played a big role), exerted every effort to undermined the regime of Dr. Mahdi, even after it has reached a commendable settlement to the enduring rebellion that was brewing in the South and elsewhere in the regional configuration of the Sudan. Yes, these dictatorships felt very uneasy about having a democratic neighbor that insisted that the rule of the people must prevail and that governance is a social contract between the citizens and the rulers of a country, which entailed responsibilities and obligations on the part of the rulers, for which most Arab dictators have little regard or even respect. This observer recalls being in Saudi Arabia at the time of the Bashir coup, and was surprised to see that the morning newspapers in that country on the day following the coup were issuing diatribes against the former democracy of Sadiq Al-Mahdi and showing how the democratic government of the Sudan saw foolishness and senselessness in Saddam's war on Iran. To add emphasis to their displeasure at this, the Saudi press showed pictures of Al-Mahdi shaking hands with the new leaders of the Islamic Republic of Iran. Whatever the case, it was clearly an effort to dispel any favorite views of the very positive developments that transpired in the Sudan, which had heretofore pleased every Arab from the desert plateaus of Mauritania to the rugged mountains of Yemen, the latter of which was just settling into another enduring dictatorship that was implanted by the same forces that implanted the Bashir dictatorship in the Sudan.

This historical dissertation is meant to get the new freely elected government of the Islamic Republic of Mauritania to take heed of the evil that surrounds them in the region. There are bound to be many an Arab regime, which is not at all happy with the historical civilized developments in Mauritania, because they themselves could never elevate themselves to the highly cultured attitude of Col Ely. In fact, these regimes have been given eternal mandates by the West to step on the necks of their people, so the latter can continue to freely bleed the people of the area of their vital resources. So one should forget about the desire of the West to see democracy flourish in the region. That will be the biggest danger to the existence of Israel and of course to the control of the Western oil companies of the region's important natural resources. So beware, Sidi Abdullahi, and take note that not one Arab leader took the courteous step of taking part in the festivities for the remarkable peaceful transfer of authority in Nouakchott. How could they take an Arab leader abdicating the helms of authority in the land and even handing over the official car that the leader used during the 19 months he worked diligently in to carry out his promise of giving his people what they have been desiring and yeaning for, for sometime now. For most current Arab leaders, giving their people their rightful due is an abomination they could never live with. May God relieve us of all of them once and for all!

Hassan Al-Haifi has been a Yemeni political economist and journalist for more than 20 years.