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Mali: Mauritanian Preachers Killed by the Army

Mauritanians woke up on September 10, 2012, to the news of the killing of 16 members of Jamaat al Daawa wal Tabligh (Society for spreading faith), a movement active in spreading Islamic faith, by the Malian army. Twelve of those killed are Mauritanian citizens. According to the news, the army killed these clerics after two hours of arrest and investigation. The victims were on their way to participate in a conference held in the Malian capital, Bamako, before their car was intercepted by the border guards in the Malian city of Jino.

The news was like a strike for the Mauritanians, who considered what happened as an insult to them by neighboring state army. The relatives of the victims held [ar] a protest in front of the presidential palace denouncing the sad fate the Malian army inflicted to their beloved. They were surprised by the silence of the Mauritanian government, asking it to assume its responsibility in this regard and open a prompt probe in the incident to find more about its circumstances and to bring the perpetrators to justice and punish them for their act. Moreover, various political parties, issued statements [ar] condemning the killing and asking for punishing the culprits.

صورة لأحد الضحايا نشرها علال هالي صديقه على فيسبوك

Photographs of one of the victims posted by his friend on Facebook where we can read: “The Martyr Omaneh Ould Ailt, May the Lord accept him and his friends in heaven along with prophets, good-doers and martyrs”

Mauritanian activists and bloggers reacted the incident. Nasser Weddady, for instance, criticized the Mauritanian President's stance on the case. He tweeted:

@weddady ولد عبد العزيز يتنمر على القاعدة عندما تهدد مصالح فرنسا، لكنه قط وديع عندما يذبح الموريتانيون،المسألة مسألة بيع وشراء لا غير #موريتانيا

Ould Abdel Aziz slams Al Caida when it threatens France's interests (in Mauritania) but he is a timid cat when Mauritanians are slaughtered. The incident is just a sale and acquisition issue and nothing more.

He adds:

@weddady الحق علينا، من نحن لكي نزعج فخامته؟ وقته من ذهب ولا ينبغي أن نشغله عن جني الأرباح لشركته الرئاسية #موريتانيا #السمسار

It's our fault. Who are we to bother His Excellency? His time is so precious and we shouldn't disturb him from reaping the revenues of his presidential company.

Activist Haydara Ould Mohamed Lehbib expresses his anger towards what happened:

@mhaydaraa دماء جديد وحياة المواطنين في خطر مرة أخرى… طبعا لن يحدد المسؤول أحرى أن يحاسب… رحم الله شهداء الدعوة والتبليغ

More blood and the lives of citizens are once again in danger. Of course no one responsible shall be held accountable. May the lord have mercy on the martyrs of Al Dawaa wal Tabligh.

Tah Ould Habib criticizes the silence of the government:

@tahabib في #موريتانيا تقتل قوات الأمن المالية 15 مواطنا مسالما ولم ينبس أي مسؤول حتى الآن ببنت شفة

In Mauritania, the Malian army kills 15 pacifist civilians and no official has uttered a word so far

Bab Ould Hourma mocks the weakness of Malian army facing Al Caida and his bravery facing unarmed preachers:

@bHourma الجيش المالي: أسد على الدعاة الموريتانيين العزل وفي الحرب على القاعدة ومقاتلي الطوارق نعامة!!

The Malian Army: A lion on unarmed Mauritanian Preachers and an ostrich during the war and facing Al Caida and the Touareg

Writer and blogger Abbas Braham also commented on the incident:

‏@abbassbrahamإضافة إلى أن قتل الدعاة ربما يكون جريمة حرب فمن الأرجح أيضا أنه نمطية وعنصرية (يعني قتل على المظاهر وقتل على الهوية)

In addition to the fact that killing the 4 preachers might be a war crime then most probably it is racism (killing them because of their looks and identity).

Activist Ali Ag Al Azwadi denied rumors which claimed that the Malian Army shot the preachers because they didn't stop at their patrol:

@ALIUF حتى في الأفلام ! لا يتم إيقاف سيارة “عصابة” بتصفية 18 شخص دفعة واحدة ! “الجيش المالي أنت أكذوبة”

Even in movies! A gang isn't arrested by eliminating 18 persons in a raw. Malian army, you are liars!

Activist Mohamed El Amine Nagi calls for a protest in front of the Malian Embassy:

@lemine_nagi لم لايتم التظاهر أم سفارة مالي ومحاصرة السفير عدة ساعات،،السفارة تقع عل شاعر المختار قبالة المخبزة بجوار مطعم الطازح وسفارة اليمن

Why don't we protest in front of the Malian Embassy and surround the Ambassador for a few hours? The embassy is on Al Moukhtar street facing a bakery near Al Tazeh Restaurant and the Yemeni Embassy

Ahmed Ould Bah asks to recall the Mauritanian Embassy in Mali:

@ahmedbah أيها الجنرال ألم تستقبل جماعة الدعوة والتبليغ قبل عدة أشهر وأعلنوا ولائهم لك.. أضعف الإيمان استدعاء السفير في #مالي. #موريتانيا

General, haven't you received Jamaat al Daawa wal Tabligh months ago and they have proclaimed they allegiance to you? The ambassador in Mali should be summoned

Mohammed Ould Jedou tweets:

@mohdjedou إن مافعله الجيش المالي لايغتفر فقتلهم لأ طهار كل همهم تعليم الناس الخير لهو وحشية وهمجية تستنكف عنها عاد وثمود

What the Malian army is doing in unforgivable because their killing of pure people who only care about teaching good to others is an act of brutality

Mustapha Ould Bab Ahmed fears the exploitation of the case by the Mauritanian President:

@mstaphab للأسف ربما الأفضل أن تصمت الدولة في قضية#مذبحة_الدعاة. لأنها حين تتدخل سيكون الهدف استغلالها واستخدامها من أجل سواد عين الرئيس “المعتصم”

Unfortunately maybe it is better for the state to keep quiet in the case of the #massacre_of_the_clerics because when it will interfere, the objective will be to exploit the case and use it for the interest of the president

The opposition February 25 movement published a statement on its Facebook page, condemning the incident:

لقد طال صمت الحكومة الموريتانية أكثر من اللازم كعادتها عندما يتعلق الأمر بمصالح المواطنين، ومنها في هذه الحالة إدانة ما جرى، والكشف عن حقيقته للرأي العام، واتخاذ التدابير اللازمة لتسوية آثار الفعل الإجرامي المنكر مهما كان من يتحمل مسئوليته، وجبر الخواطر المكسورة لذوي الضحايا. ليس الأمر مستغربا بالنسبة لنا من نظام لا ينشط إلا في خدمة الطغمة الفاسدة من أركانه.

The silence of the government has lasted more than enough as usual when it is about the interests of the citizens like in this case in condemning what is happening and reveal the truth to the public opinion and adopting the necessary measures to fix the impact of this criminal act and appease the victims relatives. But we are not surprised by a regime which is only active in serving his corrupt members.

Wishah blog (Scarf) reports the protests in Mauritanian cities against what the Malian army committed:

طالب سكان مدينة فصالة الجيش الموريتاني بالتدخل والانتقام لذويهم، والثأر، وهدد العشرات من أهالي شهداء جماعة الدعوة والتبليغ في فصالة بالانتقام لذويهم إذا لم يبادر الجيش الموريتاني بالانتقام.
وفي باسكنو أيضا بدأ السكان يتظاهرون احتجاجا على تأخر السلطات في اتخاذ موقف حازم ضد الجريمة البشعة

Fassala residents asked the Mauritanian army to intervene and take revenge for their relatives. Dozens of the martyrs’ relatives in Fassala threatened to take revenge on their own in case the Mauritanian army doesn't. In Bassiknou as well, the citizens started protesting against the delay of the authorities to take a firm stance against the ugly crime

Alegcom also presented its condolences to the parents of the victims:

وبهذه المناسبة الأليمة فإن مدونة “ألاك كوم” إدارة وعمال تتقدم بتعازيها إلى كل الشعب الموريتانى وإلى سكان ولاية لبراكنه بشكل خاص وإلى أسر الضحايا راجية المولى عز وجل أن يتغمد الشهداء بواسع رحمته ويسكنهم فسيح جنانه ويلهم ذويهم جميل الصبر والسلوان وإنا لله وإنا إليه راجعون.

On this sad occasion Aleg Com blog, administration and staff presents its condolences to all the Mauritanian people and to the residents of Brakna region in particular and to the relatives of the victims, praying to God to grant the martyrs his mercy and place them in his heaven and grant their relatives patience. ‘Surely we belong to God and to Him shall we return

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