Mauritania opposition chief warns against joining Mali conflict

Ould Daddah

NOUAKCHOTT - Mauritania's main opposition leader has urged the government to stay out of a planned African-led military intervention in neighbour Mali, whose north has been under militant Islamist control.
"I warn the authorities against any participation in this war that is not ours and which, by necessity, will inevitably see our airports and borders used," Ahmed Ould Daddah told a meeting in Nouakchott late Tuesday.
Ould Daddah spoke after African Union leaders renewed their call on Monday for an urgent deployment of regional troops to recapture northern Mali.
The West African bloc ECOWAS has 3,300 troops on standby but the United Nations has expressed reservations and warned a deployment could take almost another year.
Last month, Mauritanian President Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz said his country would not be taking part in the planned military intervention.
He added however that in the case of an attack, his army would retaliate "well beyond our borders".