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Mauritania: Thousands demand justice for ex-slaves

Mauritania: Thousands demand justice for ex-slaves

Mauritania

Thousands of people have marched for the rights of former slaves in Mauritania and to denounce injustice against them.

Slavery persists in th West African nation despite being officially abolished decade ago.

The march in the capital, Nouakchott, was organised by a group calling for the rights of the Haratines which was launched on April 2013, France24 reports.

Without all our struggle, nothing will be done and the manifesto is to continue the battle against the injustice committed against all the wretched of this country.

The protesters, including opposition leaders called for “the end of exclusion and injustice built into the system against the Hararine community”.

“Without all our struggle, nothing will be done and the manifesto is to continue the battle against the injustice committed against all the wretched of this country, without exception!” said Boubacar Messaoud, leader and spokesman.

Despite being officially abolished in 1981, slavery is still deeply entrenched in the vast, largely desert nation where light-skinned Berber Arab Moors enslaved local black populations after settling in Mauritania centuries ago.

According to rights groups, slave status is often passed on from generation.

In August 2015, Mauritania adopted a new law making slavery a “crime against humanity” and doubling the maximum prison term to 20 years.

The country in December set up three specialist slavery courts. The West African country last month also decreed that March 6 would be national day for the fight against slavery.

AGENCY