Security forces violently dispersed a demonstration organized by supporters of the Initiative for the Resurgence of the Abolitionist Movement (IRA), on Monday, October 29, in Nouakchott. The demonstrations reportedly called for the release of IRA leader Biram Dah Abeid, who was arrested on August 7 on allegations of hate speech. Further such protests are likely in the near-term and related violence cannot be ruled out.
Police dispersed similar IRA protests on October 1 and 8, and the group has indicated it will increase political pressure on President Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz over the coming months amid rumors Aziz may run for a possible third term in 2019. Demonstrations to denounce slavery practices still in effect in the country, and violent reprisals by government security forces against anti-slavery activists, are frequent in Mauritania.
Individuals present in Mauritania are advised to monitor local media for updates and to avoid all political events and public gatherings, as violence may flare up without warning.
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