World Country Mauritania

About the world country Mauritania, its location, size, population, and who is in power.

NATIONS OF THE WORLD

MAURITANIA

Location: West coast of Sahelian Africa, between Senegal and the Western Sahara. Size: 397,954 sq. mi. (1,030,700 sq. km.). Population: 1,638,000 (30% Moorish, 30% black, 40% mixed).

Who Really Rules: In 1978 a military coup brought down Moktar Ould Daddah, president since the country achieved independence in 1960. Since then, leadership in the ruling Military Committee for National Salvation has shifted several times. The major accomplishment of the military government has been ending Mauritanian participation in the Saharan war by withdrawing its claim to the southern third of Western Sahara.

The Moorish Mauritanians, Arabic-speaking Arabs and Berbers from nomadic backgrounds, have dominated the sedentary black tribes from the southern region and the Haratins ("Emancipated Ones"), a mixed people traditionally servants of the Moors. Black pressures for equality have led the military government to recognize national languages in addition to Arabic and to outlaw slavery in 1980.

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