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Tensions between Mauritanian authorities and Islamists likely to rise

A report issued by the Desert Center for Studies and Consulting indicated that tensions are expected to rise between the Mauritanian Islamists and the government in the near future.

Escalation is the most likely scenario between the two sides, the report mentioned.

According to the report, confrontation between the regime and Islamists will likely increase gradually but swiftly, and that the regime is expected to crackdown on the Islamist current soon.

In March, Mauritanian authorities closed down the Future Association, led by the Mauritanian scholar Muhammad al-Hassan Walid al-Dido who is also vice president of the International Union for Muslim Scholars and a leading member of other associations considered pro-Muslim Brotherhood by Mauritanian authorities.

Mauritanian authorities justified the closure of the Future Association saying that it violated the associations' law. However, analysts perceived the decision as part of Mauritanian authorities' crackdown on the Muslim Brotherhood, and linked it to the rapprochement between Mauritanian and the governments of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

A second scenario, according to the report, would be the freezing of the crisis by not taking further measures other than the closure of the association, while Islamists would refrain from provocative reactions.

The third scenario would be reconciliation and mutual understanding regarding upcoming elections, the report said.

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