President Mohamed Ould Abdelaziz

 

General Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz (var. Muhammad Abdel-‘Aziz, Ould  Abdelaziz, born 1956) is a Mauritanian military officer. He was a  leading figure in the August 2005 coup that deposed President Maaouya  Ould Sid’Ahmed Taya, and in August 2008 he led another coup that toppled  President Sidi Ould Cheikh Abdallahi and Prime Minister Yahya Ould  Ahmed El Waghef. Following the latter coup, Abdel Aziz became President  of the High Council of State as part of what was described as a  political transition leading to a new election.

Born in 1956 at Akjoujt, Abdelaziz joined the armed forces in 1977  and attended the Royal Military Academy at Meknès in Morocco before  rising through the ranks of the army. He set up the elite presidential  guard unit known as the BASEP (Presidential Security Battalion).  Abdelaziz was instrumental in putting down an attempted coup in June  2003 and a military insurrection in August 2004, for which he received  the nation’s highest military award.

Abdel Aziz was sworn in as President at a ceremony held in Nouakchott on 5 August 2009.