The Military Committee for National Salvation
, Comité Militaire de Salut National
, CMSN) was a military government of the Islamic Republic of Mauritania
that took power in 1979. It was installed by Mohamed Khouna Ould Haidalla
, Ahmed Ould Bouceif
and fellow officers
, in an internal regime/military coup d'état
on April 6
, removing Col. Mustapha Ould Salek
of the Military Committee for National Recovery
(CRMN) from effective power. He was replaced by Mohamed Mahmoud Ould Louly
in May 1979; Haidallah would later emerge as the main military strongman, and go on to assume full powers, only to be deposed by Maaouya Ould Sid'Ahmed Taya
. The CMSN remained as an institution until 1992, when Taya introduced a multi-party system
- he himself lost power only in 2005.
The main achievement of the CMSN was to make peace with the Western Saharan Polisario Front, which had been fighting Mauritania since the government of President Moktar Ould Daddah invaded the country in 1975. The CMSN opted for complete withdrawal from the conflict, evacuating southern Rio de Oro (which had been annexed as Tiris El Gharbiya) and recognizing the Polisario as the representative of the Sahrawi people; this led to a crisis in relations with Morocco, which had similarly annexed the northern two-thirds of the country, and was also facing Sahrawi resistance.