Military leader who helped Mauritania become a democracy dies

Military leader who helped Mauritania become a democracy dies
1 min read
06 May, 2017
Ely Ould Mohamed Vall, who briefly headed a military junta and Mauritania, has died of a heart attack while on holiday.
A military leader who helped lead Mauritania transform from a dictatorship to democracy has died of heart attack while on holiday, his family said on Friday.

Ely Ould Mohamed Val was an influential figure in the country having once heading Mauritania's police force.

He was best known for heading a junta between 2005 and 2007 following a military coup which saw Mauritania end dictatorship and enter into a new era of democracy.

Vall was born in 1953, and served as the head of a transition government that handed over to Mauritania's first democratically elected President Sidi Ould Cheikh Abdallahi.

In 2005, he led a coup against dictator Maaouiya Ould Taya. True to his word he stepped down from power when elections were held two years later.

President Mohammed Ould Abdel Aziz announced three days of mourning, the Mauritanian Information Agency said, while a family source confirmed to AFP he had fallen ill and had a heart attack.

Despite this, Vall was a critic of Aziz after the current president removed Abdallahi in a separate 2008 coup.

Agencies contributed to this story.