Blow to Yahya’s CAF Presidential ambitionsThomas Kwenaite
A coalition pressure group of expatriate Mauritanians living in Europe and across the United States have written a scathing letter to the Confederation of African Football which could jeopardize Ahmed Yahya’s CAF Presidential ambitions.
Yahya, South African Patrice Motsepe, Cote d’Ivoire’s Jacques Anouma and Senegal’s Augustin Senghor are all vying for the supreme post after incumbent Ahmad Ahmad was banned for five years by FIFA ahead of the elections due to be held in Morocco on March 12.
But it started going pear-shape for Yahya a fortnight ago when CAF mysteriously passed a ruling that both Senghor and Anouma have successfully passed their integrity test while both Yahya and Motsepe must still undergo further tests by the end of this week.
This week, a group called Framework of Concentration of Mauritian Survivors in Europe and the United States, dispatched a scathing letter to CAF acting President Constant Omari demanding that Yahya be denied the opportunity to contest the CAF Presidency for a violation of human rights.
“The reasons for writing this letter to you is to share our deep concerns about the candidacy of Mr. Ahmed Yahya,” reads a part of the letter. “We have serious reservations against Mr. Yahya for moral and ethical reasons relating to violations of human rights committed between 1990 and 1991 in Mauritania.
“Mauritania is a multiracial and multicultural country where Black Africans (Pular, Soninke, Wolof and Bambara) Harratines (Black Moors) and Beydane (White Moors) live.
“The country gained independence during 1960. Since then, Mauritania has been marked by discriminatory policies that have gradually excluded Blacks from the reins of the state.
“The exclusion took violent forms, particularly between 1986 and 1992 when Afro-Mauritanian population experienced serious human rights violations. More than 500 soldiers were summarily executed.
“These abuses reached their climax on the night of November 28 during 1990 with the execution of 28 detainees on the day the country was celebrating independence. The date has now become a Remembrance Day in memory of the martyrs.
“These executions, carried in part with the intention to destroy a national, ethnic, racial group, constitute acts of genocide. We continue to suffer from these crimes while the rights of victims continue to be ignored on the orders of the state.”
The group claim that Abderrahmane Yahya, father of Ahmed, is alleged to be one of the “torturers”, adding that he was one of the main architects of this “extermination” programme, according to founder of the organization Lieutenant Sy Mamadou.
While the group wishes Yahya to be disqualified, it remains to be seen if CAF will heed the sentiments expressed in the letter signed off by Djibril Yongane, President of this Mauritanian Pressure group.