Taya in trouble!!!

For Immediate Release:

Mauritanian Exiles File Lawsuit Against Former Dictator For Ethnic Cleansing

May 23, 2007

New York, NY - Mauritanian exiles living in New York filed a class action
lawsuit today against Maaouya Ould Sidi Ahmed Taya, for the crimes committed
during a campaign of ethnic cleansing of Black Mauritanians from 1989 to
1991. The lawsuit was filed in United States Federal Court by attorneys from
the Refugee Defense Alliance.

Mauritania, situated on the edge of the Sahara along the west coast of
Africa, is divided ethnically between the Arab north and Black-African
south.  Black-Africans in Mauritania have long resisted the policy of
Arabization and continued practice of slavery in the country.

Using a 1989 border skirmish with neighboring Senegal as a pretext,
government forces acting under the command of defendant Taya used torture,
murder and large-scale deportation to establish Arab domination of the land,
military and government.  By 1991, thousands of Black-Africans were murdered
and more than 120,000 were deported.
Defendant Taya, who is also under indictment by the International Court of
Justice, led a dictatorial regime for 21 years with Ely Ould Mohamed Vall
acting as chief of his secret police.  In August 2005, Vall seized power
through a military coup, but has since permitted elections and the transfer
of power to a newly elected president.

Lead plaintiff Abda Wone stated, "Some people say that we should not open
old wounds after the country has experienced what was characterized as a
democratic election and a peaceful transfer of power.  But until the
thousands of Black Mauritanians living as slaves are free and the refugees
can return home, we have a country that is neither democratic nor peaceful.
At least now we might have justice."

A press conference will be held on May 24th in New York at 6:30 pm at the
Global Information Network, 146 W 29th Street, Suite 7E.

For more information contact Wesley O'Brien at wesley@refugeedefense.org.
Posted on Sunday, May 27, 2007 (Archive on Tuesday, June 26, 2007)
Posted by PNMBAI  Contributed by PNMBAI
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