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Mauritanian ex-president Abdallahi dies

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(FILES) In this file photo taken on July 13, 2008 Mauritanian President Sidi Ould Cheikh Abdallahi (R) and his wife arrive for a diner at the Petit Palais, after attending Paris’ Union for the Mediterranean founding summit, in Paris. French President Nicolas Sarkozy and 42 leaders launch today a union between Europe and its Mediterranean neighbours but tensions among Middle East countries could undermine the grand plan. – Mauritania’s former head of state Sidi Ould Cheikh Abdallahi, the country’s first democratically elected president in 2007, died on the night of November 22, 2020, in Nouakchott, his family and the presidency learned. (Photo by GERARD CERLES / AFP)

Mauritania’s former president Sidi Ould Cheikh Abdallahi, the West African state’s first democratically elected president, died overnight, his family members and the president’s office said Monday.

The politician died at a private clinic in the capital Nouakchott after suffering heart complications, according to his relatives.

Born in 1938, Abdallahi became the first democratically elected head of state in Mauritania in April 2007.

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But he only governed for 15 months before Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz, a general, deposed him in a military coup.

Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz himself ruled as president of Mauritania between 2009 and 2019, before being succeeded by Mohamed Ould Cheikh El Ghazouani.

The country’s presidency on Monday announced three days of mourning after his death.

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