Turmoil struck the Somali government on Tuesday as a fifth minister resigned in a power-sharing dispute a day after being appointed, and the president was urgently flown to a hospital in Kenya's capital, Nairobi. A security official described President Abdullahi Yusuf (72) as being in a ''serious condition'' when he arrived in Nairobi on Tuesday.
Somali Prime Minister Ali Mohamed Gedi resigned on Monday after a long feud with the president that frustrated Western backers and split the government while it faced an Islamist insurgency. With no sure candidate to replace him, it remained unclear whether Gedi's departure would unify the interim government or set it down a new path of disarray.
Authorities seized cocaine worth more than -million on Monday in Mauritania's capital -- the country's largest haul ever, officials said. Security agents arrested five people -- two Moroccans, a Senegalese and two Mauritanians with 830kg of cocaine, said state prosecutor Ben Amar Ould Veten.
African Union envoys who met Mauritania's new military strongman said on Wednesday they were reassured by the country's junta leaders, and urged them to follow a plan to hold democratic elections in less than two years. Pointedly, they said nothing about restoring to power the country's exiled president.
Mauritania's self-declared head of state named a new prime minister to replace the former premier who resigned along with his Cabinet after last week's coup. A judge also freed 21 people who had been detained for plotting against the ousted regime. Junta leader Colonel Ely Ould Mohamed Vall named Sidi Mohamed Ould Boubacar as prime minister.
African leaders have condemned the coup in the West African state of Mauritania, saying the days of authoritarianism and military rule must end across the continent. A military junta toppled Mauritania's autocratic president while he was abroad, replacing him with the longtime chief of this oil-rich desert nation's police force.
A group of army officers in Mauritania announced the overthrow of President Maaoya Sid'Ahmed Taya on Wednesday. Earlier, troops took control of the national radio and television stations and seized a building housing the army chief of staff's headquarters while the president was out of the country.