Mauritania nation profile – BBC Information

Certainly one of Africa’s latest oil producers, the Islamic Republic of Mauritania bridges the Arab Maghreb and western sub-Saharan Africa.

The largely-desert nation presents a cultural distinction, with an Arab-Berber inhabitants to the north and black Africans to the south. Lots of its persons are nomads.

Within the Center Ages Mauritania was the cradle of the Almoravid motion, which unfold Islam all through the area and for some time managed the Islamic a part of Spain.

European merchants started to indicate curiosity in Mauritania within the fifteenth Century. France gained management of the coastal area in 1817, and in 1904 a proper French protectorate was prolonged over the territory.

Mauritania is wealthy in mineral assets, particularly iron and ore. It’s seen by the West as a priceless ally within the struggle in opposition to Islamist militancy within the Sahel area.


  • Capital: Nouakchott
  • Space: 1,030,000 sq km
  • Inhabitants: 4.6 million
  • Languages: Arabic, plus French, Wolof, Pulaar, Soninke, Zenaga
  • Life expectancy: 62 years (males) 66 years (girls)


President: Mohamed Ould Ghazouani

Picture supply, Gabriel Bouys/Getty Photos

Former defence minister Mohamed Ould Ghazouani gained the 2019 presidential election, succeeding his mentor and fellow military officer Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz.

The election was introduced as having been the nation’s first peaceable transition of energy since independence.

Ghazouani’s El Insaf social gathering comfortably gained the Might 2023 parliamentary and native elections, seen by many observers as a litmus check for him forward of 2024’s presidential ballot.

Picture supply, Getty Photos

Mauritania has one of the open media environments of the Maghreb area.


Picture supply, Getty Photos

Picture caption, Slavery continues to be practised in Mauritania and abolitionist Biram Ould Dah Ould Abeid has ceaselessly run into bother with the authorities over his campaigns

Some key dates in Mauritania’s historical past:

Third-Seventh centuries AD – Berber and Arab migrants arrive in present-day Mauritania.

Ninth-Tenth Centuries – Empire of Ghana has its capital in present-day south-west Mauritania.

1076 – Berber Almoravid warriors defeat the Empire of Ghana.

1500s – European mariners and merchants set up settlements.

1644-1674 – Char Bouba Struggle. Try by native peoples to withstand the Beni Ḥassān Bedouin tribes of Yemeni origin who’re extending their authority over most of Mauritania and components of Morocco.

1850s-60s – French forces achieve management of southern Mauritania.

1898 – France wins the allegiance of Moors within the area.

1904 – Mauritania turns into a part of French West Africa, first as a protectorate and later as a colony.

1912 – French forces defeat the northern emirate of Adrar, and incorporate it into the territory of Mauritania.

1960 – Mauritania turns into unbiased from France.

1964 – President Moktar Ould Daddah, initially put in by the French, makes Mauritania a one-party state and units up an authoritarian regime.

Nineteen Seventies – Lengthy-lasting Sahel droughts trigger large devastation and exacerbate issues of poverty and battle.

1976 – Mauritania, together with Morocco, annexes a part of the territory of Western Sahara.

1978 – President Daddah is deposed in a cold army coup after vital losses to the Polisario armed independence motion in Western Sahara. The army rule Mauritania for greater than 20 years.

1979 – Mauritania provides up its claims to Western Sahara.

1989-91 – Mauritania-Senegal Border Struggle. Tons of are killed and a few 250,000 individuals turn out to be refugees as each international locations struggle over pure assets and their River Senegal border.

2007 – First totally democratic presidential elections since independence happen.

2014 – France establishes a long-term army operation to stop jihadist teams from organising protected havens within the Sahel, together with Mauritania.

Picture supply, Getty Photos

Picture caption, A Mauritanian soldier guards Polisario rebels. Mauritania gave up its declare to Western Sahara in 1979

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