Saudi Arabia’s Mohammed bin Salman’s “world tour” continues despite bumpy rides and an inhospitable climate at various destination points.
Students and human right activist groups defied the Mauritanian government on Saturday, on the eve of the Saudi Crown Prince’s visit. In Nouakchott, thousands took to the streets to object to the scheduled visit of “a war criminal” and “a human rights abuser.”
On Friday, a group of students called for nationwide protests to prevent the Saudi Crown Prince from setting foot on the “pure Mauritanian soil.” The group even petitioned the country’s government, requesting that Mauritanian authorities sever ties with Saudi Arabia as long as Riyadh remains engaged in the war in Yemen.
Mohamed Ould Sidi, president of the student association spearheading the anti-Crown Prince protests in Mauritania, told Mauritanian outlet Al-Araby al-Jadeed: “We Mauritanians will not stand by and let the murderer of Yemeni children pollute our soil.”
Ould Sidi explained that Mohammed bin Salman is also “responsible for jailing countless oulemas” and “uses the Saudi judiciary apparatus to silence opposition.”
While Saudi TV channels showed footage of a smiling Mohammed bin Salman, also known as MBS, arriving in Mauritania earlier today, according to Turkish outlet Yeni Safak, protesters in Nouakchott gathered to chant defying slogans addressed to both MBS and Mauritanian authorities, whom they accused of putting Saudi money and interests before the will of the Mauritanian people.
On various main streets in Nouakchott, protesters sang in chorus “The people does not want Bin Salman,” or “The people wants the bloodbath to stop,” referring to the war in Yemen in Saudi Arabia’s harsh treatment of local dissidents.
Algeria is MBS’s next destination. The Saudi prince is set to arrive in Algiers on December 6. Meanwhile, Algerian civil society has decried the scheduled visit, calling it an affront.
Morocco, which withdrew itself from the Saudi prince’s agenda, is the only Maghreb country that has not been associated with MBS’ “world tour.”