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Wednesday, 18 July, 2001, 13:13 GMT 14:13 UK
Ousted Mauritanian president returns home

The former president of Mauritania, Moktar Ould Daddah, has been greeted by hundreds of supporters on his return home after 23 years in exile.

After arriving at Nouakchott airport from France, he travelled by car to his home with family and friends.

A statement by several opposition groups welcomed Mr Ould Daddah's return, praising him as the founder of modern Mauritania.

Before he left Paris with his wife, the former president said he would not be involving himself in politics.

He said, though, that he hoped to be an arbiter to help solve disputes.

Mr Ould Daddah was president from independence in 1960 until he was ousted in a coup in 1978. Last year, the Mauritanian authorities invited him to return home.

From the newsroom of the BBC World Service

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