Abass Hamadi Diallo, born in 1986, was in southern Mauritania on 28 May near the border with Senegal that at the time was observing curfew regulations imposed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The young man, father of six, was helping a dark man and his nephew with the transport of merchandise when a gunshot hit him fatally in the chest.
Almost certainly, there will be no investigation into the case, and he will be among the long list of black Mauritian men who will never receive justice. The dossier of the Mauritian genocide during 1989-1991 has yet to be reopened and give clarity, providing justice to the widows of the black servicemen of the state military who were sacrificed like animals in the city of Inal, north of the capital city Nouakchott.
Mauritanian guns kill again and many people are asking themselves if its just old habit or a political policy…
Social networks have been buzzing for days. A barrage of posts about the murder of African-American George Floyd by the Minneapolis police. And almost no one knows that in Mauritania, black men are systematically violated every day for reasons of culture in a racist and xenophobic society that abets and practices hereditary slavery.
This time, indignation was felt strongly, perhaps on the wave of the anger sparked online because of the vicious murder of the African-American man. Many young Mauritian bloggers organized live Facebook feeds denouncing the death of Abbass Diallo by a police officer and asking that justice be done.
The day after the homicide, the Mauritian News Agency’s official page published a press release by the Chief of Staff of the Army. It spoke about, “fugitives who were violating the border passage and an accidental death.” The victim was described vaguely as a peculiar individual, as if to say that a man who looked “peculiar” can be a target and killed.
On 30 May, a high-ranking delegation was sent to Mbagne, near the victim’s birthplace. His family was offered a sum of local money equal to 2500 euro to even the score and keep the episode quiet. The family was outraged and refused so the representatives suggested donating the money to the head of the village. End of story.
The black population in Mauritania can’t take it anymore and these barbarous acts seem to be the norm, especially in the southern basin, the so-called Senegal River Valley which in recent history has been the scene of gruesome and circumspect incidents by the state police to the detriment of the increasingly abandoned and forgotten black citizens.
At the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, it will be easier for the state to keep at bay those who are hurting and are ready to fill the streets to protest against the indignation and say stop to the persecution of the black people few in the world know or care about.
Meanwhile, in virtual protests, many youths are wearing blood-red clothing to commemorate this umpteenth murder where an innocent black-skinned man paid the price in the country of hereditary slavery.