NOUAKCHOTT, July 30 (Xinhua) — Mauritanian President Sidi Mohamed Ould Cheikh Abdellahi has appeared on national television to assess his performance during the first 100 days in office.
During the interview, which was held Sunday, President Abdellahi took time to tackle the major issues facing the country including the return of refugees, drug trafficking as well as the concerns of rural populations with regard to insufficient rainfall.
Regarding the return of refugees, the president reiterated his willingness to find a final solution to the problem while at the same time expressing hope that the suffering of the refugees will not be used to settle political scores. The president also said that the refugees problem should be de-linked from that of Mauritanian nationals who were expulsed from Senegal, as the two issues were different.
Turning to the issue of slavery, which is also an essential element in the reinforcement of national unity, Abdellahi said the government had come up with a law to criminalize all forms of slavery. The president noted that the law, which was currently being debated by the national assembly, will be adopted within the next few days.
On the drug scandal that has rocked Mauritania for several months now, the president said that he had issued firminstructions to the relevant authorities, which are charged with handling the matter, since the onset of the scandal. The president called for comprehensive investigations into the matter in order to deliver the country from an unacceptable situation.
“The problem of drugs calls for participation of everyone including the government, political parties, civil society organizations, families and ordinary citizens in the creation of awareness on the dangers of this vice,” according to the president.
Concerning the difficult situation facing the livestock sector, the president said his government was keenly following up on the matter. The president said that despite the limited means, a significant amount of drugs had been distributed to the affected areas.
At last, the president said “there was need to construct Mauritania and that the task could not be left to the ministers, general secretaries and directors alone.”
“In fact, this requires the commitment of all Mauritanians. The role of the government is to create an enabling environment for all the citizens to participate effectively in the construction of their country. A nation is constructed by production, which is itself linked to productivity and the commitment of the citizens,” the president said in his final remarks.