Demonstrations and associated roadblocks have been reported in Nouakchott on Sunday, June 23, following the June 22 presidential elections. Although election officials are not expected to release the official results until Monday, June 24, former defense minister Mohamed Ould El Ghazouani declared victory shortly after polls closed, prompting localized unrest in the capital. On Sunday, American diplomatic authorities reported unrest in the Riyadh, El Mina, and Sebkha districts, as protesters clashed with police and erected road barricades.
A heightened security presence and transportation disruptions are to be expected over the coming days. Further clashes are likely following the release of election results by the Independent National Electoral Commission (CENI) on Monday.
Mauritania held presidential elections on June 22 pitting incumbent President Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz's handpicked successor former defense minister Mohamed Ould El Ghazouani, anti-slavery campaigner Biram Ould Dah Ould Abeid, and four other candidates.
Despite widespread speculation that he might defy the constitution to seek a third term, incumbent President Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz has declared his intention to step down at the conclusion of his second term in 2019. Abdel Aziz previously led a 2008 coup that ousted Sidi Ould Cheikh Abadallahi from the presidency and was a leading figure in a 2005 coup that ousted Maaouya Ould Sid'Ahmed Taya from the presidency. Abdel Aziz won the 2014 presidential elections without incident. Since the 2014 elections, Abdel Aziz has succeeded in annulling Mauritania's Senate, replacing it with regional councils.
Individuals in Mauritania are advised to monitor developments to the situation, avoid all protests and demonstrations as a precaution, and adhere to all instructions issued by the local authorities.
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