Saleh Ould Hanenna


Saleh Ould Hanenna

Saleh Ould Hanenna (born 1965 or 1966) is a former Mauritanian soldier and political figure.

Hanenna served in the Mauritanian Army and rose to the rank of Major before being forced out in 2000. In June 2003, he led an attempted coup, aiming to overthrow President Maaouya Ould Taya. He commanded a rebel section of the Army during two days of heavy fighting in Nouakchott. With the failure of the coup Hanenna initially escaped capture, and formed a group called the Knights of Change with Mohamed Ould Cheikhna, but he was arrested on October 9, 2004. [http://www.irinnews.org/Report.aspx?ReportId=51680 "MAURITANIA: Government arrests mastermind behind coup plots"] , IRIN Africa, October 12, 2004.]

The Government of Mauritania accused Hanenna of attempting to organise coups on two further occasions, in August and September 2004, with the alleged backing of Libya and Burkina Faso. A death sentence was recommended at his subsequent trial, but he was instead given life imprisonment at the conclusion of the trial on February 3, 2005. [ [http://www.middle-east-online.com/english/?id=12597 "Mauritania coup trial ends with 84 guilty verdicts"] , Middle East Online, February 3, 2005.]

In August 2005, Ely Ould Mohamed Vall led a successful coup in the country. The Military Council for Justice and Democracy which subsequently took charge of the government released Hanenna in an amnesty in early September. [ [http://www.irinnews.org/Report.aspx?ReportId=56175 "MAURITANIA: Junta declares general amnesty for political prisoners"] , IRIN, September 5, 2005.]

On January 9 2007, Hanenna, the president of the Mauritanian Union for Change (HATEM), was unanimously chosen by that party's executive committee as its candidate in the March 2007 presidential election. [ [http://www.ami.mr/fr/articles/2007/Janvier/9/8.html "Le parti "Hatem" présente M. Salah Ould Hanena, candidat aux élections présidentielles"] , Agence Mauritanienne d'Information, January 9, 2007 fr.] He took sixth position in the poll, with 7.65% of the votes cast, [ [http://www.ami.mr/fr/articles/2007/mars/15/5.html "Le conseil constitutionnel proclame les résultats du premier tour de l'élection présidentielles du 11 mars 2007"] , Agence Mauritanienne d'Information, March 15, 2007 fr.] and subsequently backed Ahmed Ould Daddah for the second round. [ [http://apanews.net/spip.php?page=show_article&id_article=23592 "The two run-off candidates continue to woo the Mauritanian voters"] , African Press Agency, March 16, 2007.]

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