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.