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The latest case concerned protesters killed in the capital and the north of the country. More than 40 officials were tried, receiving sentences ranging from five years to life in prison. The former head of the presidential guard, Ali Seriati, was sentenced to 20 years prison, while former Interior Minister Rafik Belhaj Kacem was given 15 years. Both are in custody.


Demonstrators demand ouster of president

NOUAKCHOTT — Thousands of Mauritanians protested in the capital late Wednesday, calling for the departure of President Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz, a man they accuse of despotism and mismanagement.

Protestors chanted “Aziz get out” and “we are sick of the tyrant” as they marched through Nouakchott in the latest of several anti-regime protests held in the West African nation in recent months.

Saleh Ould Henenna, leader of the Coordination of Democratic Opposition who organized the march, said Mr. Aziz should “leave before it is too late.”

The opposition began holding similar protests May 2, most of which have been broken up by police, leaving several injured.

They accuse Mr. Aziz of despotism and mismanagement and having failed to heed commitments made in the diplomatic accords that led to his election in 2009, a year after he seized power in a coup.

The president’s term expires in 2014.

• From wire dispatches and staff reports