نعم بائسون حد اليأس
و أنذال حد القذارة
ووقحون حد الإشمئزاز
و رجالات سياستنا و ديننا و قبائلنا و مناطقنا حقيرون
نحن الدولة الوحيدة في العالم التي نفت مؤسسها و خالقها من العدم (بشهادة البعيد قبل القريب) نفته 22 عاما ليموت في المهجر
نحن الدولة الوحيدة في العالم، التي لا تعرف قيمة لوطن و لا لعلم و لا لنشيد ، لأننا لم نكن يوما إلا قبائل بدو متناحرة متناثرة في صحرائها تتحالف مع من يأتي و يمشي
نحن الدولة الوحيدة في العالم التي و بعد 55 عاما لم يسأل فيها جيل بشكل جدي عن تاريخ أمسه لم يتصالح مع ذاته ظل تتجاذبه القبائل و الجهات و المناطق و يقبل أقدام مشايخ القبائل البائسين
نحن الدولة الوحيدة في العالم التي لن تعيش و لا تستحق العيش مالم تعد بعيدا عن تعليمات القبيلة تعد و ترفع القبعة لرجل كان واضع حجر تأسيس شبه عاصمتها
نحن الدولة الوحيدة التي كل انجازاتها العظيمة كانت مع أبيها المؤسس الذي سلمته للإهمال بعد أن سلمها ذاته و آمن بها
نحن الدولة الوحيدة في العالم التي لا يستحقها أهلها،
نحن بائسون و حقيرون و أنانيون و قذرون و أميون و أفاكون و كاذبون و منافقون
مشاريعنا العملاقة كذب و دولتنا العظيمة نعدمها أمام أيادي مشايخ القبائل السحرة العاهرون
نحن أنذال و كل عام و الوطن بخير
لم نسأل أنفسنا يوما : هل من فراغ ولدت موريتانيا (لنرسل المختار 22 عاما إلى فرنسا) أنذال الذين يؤيدون داداه لدواعي قبلية و جهوية و أنذال الذين يعادونه لقبلية و جهوية و أنذال الذي يريدون لنا أن نؤمن بوطن ينكرون مؤسسيه.
ننشر هنا سلسلة مقالات حول الرئيس المؤسس المختار ولد داداه ، نشرت في مجلات و دوريات مختلفة حول العالم و سنعمل على ترجمتها لاحقا
Mokhtar Ould Daddah, who has died aged 78 almost forgotten in a Paris hospital, was president of Mauritania from 1961 to 1978. He was one of the last survivors of the club of African leaders who took their countries to independence from French colonialism.
But unlike his peers, who “inherited” countries, more or less territorially defined, Daddah had almost to “create” Mauritania, fight for its recognition by his powerful neighbour, Morocco, and lay the first stone to build its capital Nouakchott, now a city of three million people.
A shrewd politician, Daddah was not only able to fight off and end Morocco’s claim over Mauritania for nearly a decade after independence, but managed to obtain a third of western Sahara, the former Spanish colony – also claimed by Morocco – in a deal known as the Madrid Agreement, in November 1975. In the long run, this agreement, signed with Morocco and Spain, would prove fatal to his position.
Daddah was born in the south-east of Mauritania, into a religious family. After a traditional Muslim and French primary education, Mokhtar moved to France, where he completed his secondary education and took a degree in law. While studying he met and later married his French wife Marie-Thérèse Gadroy, known as Mariem, in 1959.
Upon his return from France, the young lawyer was elected as a councillor in 1957. A year later, he campaigned for a yes vote in the referendum held by Charles De Gaulle to keep the former French African colonies in the French-African Community, a framework for independence that maintained French influence.
He was elected president of the independent Islamic Republic of Mauritania in 1961. Following the trend of fellow African leaders, he created his party, the Mauritanian People’s party, and established the single-party system, which survived until 1992, well beyond his downfall in 1978.
Daddah succeeded in playing off his powerful neighbours, Morocco and Algeria, until 1975. Algeria, through intense lobbying within the Organisation of African Unity (later the African Union), of which he was a founding member, helped him secure recognition of Mauritania’s sovereignty from Rabat in 1969, in return for not siding with the latter’s territorial dispute with Algeria. Morocco, for its part, preferred to share Western Sahara with Mauritania rather than seeing an Algerian-sponsored state at its southern border.
However, Daddah’s bargain soon backfired. His poorly trained and ill-equipped army proved unable to resist the attacks led by Western Saharan Polisario Front fighters, strongly backed by Algeria. The intervention of Moroccan troops to prop up his regime, which was little short of an occupation, prompted army officers to overthrow him in a bloodless coup.
Detained for more than a year without trial in a remote old fort by the leaders of the Military Committee for National Recovery (later the National Salvation Committee), he was allowed to travel to France for treatment after intervention by the French president Giscard d’Estaing, the kings of Morocco, Saudi Arabia, Jordan and some African leaders, who provided him and his family, now penniless, with a flat in Paris.
In his absence he was sentenced to hard labour for life, for treason, violation of the constitution and undermining national economic interests. He spent the next 22 years in exile with his family in France and was only allowed to return to Mauritania in July 2001.
Daddah’s popularity never diminished after his overthrow. Yet by 1992, with a multi-party system in place, and despite numerous calls by the opposition, and offers by some of Mauritania’s neighbours, he declined to re-enter politics. His memoirs, soon to be published, will perhaps shed more light on the life of a very private man. He is survived by his wife and three children.
· Mokhtar Ould Daddah, politician, born December 25 1924; died October 14 2003