Mauritania president replaces top military brass

Sweeping changes include replacement of army chief-of-staff, naval commander

Mauritania president replaces top military brass

NOUAKCHOTT

Mauritanian President Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz on Tuesday issued a presidential decree making significant changes in the country’s military hierarchy.

In a statement broadcast on state media, the Mauritanian presidency announced the appointment of Lieutenant-General Mohamed Cheikh Ould Mohamed Lemine as new army chief-of-staff; Major-General Isselkou Cheikh al-Wely as the latter’s assistant; Colonel Ahmed Said ben Aouf as naval commander; and Major-General Habouboullah Nahah Ahmedou as inspector-general of the armed forces.

The changes come only one week after Mohamed Ould Cheikh Mohamed al-Ghazouani, a former army chief-of-staff, was appointed defense minister in the country’s new cabinet lineup.

Last week, President Ould Abdel Aziz tasked Mohamed Salem Ould al-Bashir — who recently succeeded outgoing PM Yahya Ould Hademine — to draw up a new government.

Formation of the new cabinet comes in the wake of Mauritania’s Sept. 30 parliamentary polls, which were dominated by Ould Abdel Aziz’s ruling Union for the Republic party.

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