The president of Mauritania, Sidi Mohamed Ould Cheikh Abdallahi, has been freed from house arrest by the military junta that overthrew him in August.
He was taken from his home town of Lemden to his private residence in the capital Nouakchott, where he was told of his release. He has now reportedly returned to Lemden.
The EU warned the Mauritanian military they would face sanctions if Abdallahi was not freed. He was elected in March last year, the first freely-elected leader in his country’s history. In the last four months the international community has been pushing hard for his liberation.
The military now says he has complete freedom of movement. According to a representative of the Arab league in Cairo the move comes just days before discussions are due to start on national reconciliation on December the 27th, and is intended to help that process.