1978 Mauritanian coup d'état

The 1978 Mauritanian coup d'état was a bloodless military coup in Mauritania which took place on 10 July 1978.[1][2] The coup, led by the Army Chief of Staff, Colonel Mustafa Ould Salek, who commanded a group of junior officers, overthrew President Moktar Ould Daddah, who ruled the country since independence from France in 1960. The main motive for the coup was Daddah's ill-fated participation in the Western Sahara War (from 1975 onwards) and the resulting ruin of the economy of Mauritania.[3] Following the coup, Salek had assumed the presidency of a newly-formed military junta, the 20-member Military Committee for National Recovery (CMRN).[1][4]

1978 Mauritanian coup d'état
Mauritania-CIA WFB Map.png
A CIA WFB map of Mauritania
Date10 July 1978
LocationNouakchott, Mauritania
TypeMilitary coup
CauseParticipation of Mauritania in the Western Sahara War
MotiveRegime change
TargetPresidential Palace, Nouakchott
Organised byMustafa Ould Salek
ParticipantsFaction within the Armed Forces
OutcomeCoup succeeds

Reports from the capital Nouakchott said no shooting had been heard in the city, and no casualties had been announced.[1]

After a period of imprisonment, Ould Daddah was allowed to go into exile in France in August 1979, and was allowed to return to Mauritania on 17 July 2001.[5]


  1. ^ a b c "Military Takes Over in Mauritania With a Reportedly Bloodless Coup". The New York Times. July 11, 1978. Retrieved April 24, 2020.
  2. ^ "MAURITANIA REGIME HELD PRO‐WESTERN". The New York Times. July 12, 1978. Retrieved April 24, 2020.
  3. ^ Robert E. Handloff. "Mauritania: Government". Mauritania: A Country Study. Washington: GPO for the Library of Congress, 1988. Retrieved May 22, 2020.
  4. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on December 20, 2012. Retrieved December 19, 2012.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  5. ^ "Ousted Mauritanian president returns home". BBC. July 18, 2001. Retrieved May 22, 2020.