Mauritania ALERT: Two journali...

Mauritania ALERT: Two journalists detained briefly

Abdallahi Ould Tfagha Moctar and Mohamed Lemine Ould Moustapha, reporters of Sahara Media, a Nouakchott-based independent newswire service were on...
Mauritania cuts ties with Isra...

Mauritania cuts ties with Israel, expels Israeli diplomats

In response to the Israeli offensive into the Gaza Strip in December 2008 and the early part of 2009, the African country of Mauritania has cut...
Mauritania UPDATE: Court grant...

Mauritania UPDATE: Court grants bail to detained ex-minister

The Supreme Court in Mauritania on February 3, 2009 granted bail to Isselmou Ould Abdelkader, a former legislator, after he has spent over three...

Mauritania Forum Proposes May 30 Election

A special political forum set up by the military rulers of Mauritania is recommending that the country hold presidential elections on May...

MAURITANIA: Desertification threatens to wipe out livelihoods, communities

NOUAKCHOTT Tuesday, December 02, 2008 (IRIN) - Environmental degradation, responsible for the dangerous displacement of sand dunes in Mauritania, has...

MAURITANIA: Military launches anti-terrorist units amid donor cutbacks

ATAR Friday, November 28, 2008 (IRIN) - Mauritanian army leaders are cautioning donors that have cut military aid after a 6 August coup that the...

Official Name: Islamic Republic of Mauritania
National name: Al Jumhuriyah al Islamiyah al Muritaniyah


Capital: Nouakchott
Major Towns: Nouakchott, Nouadhibou, Rosso, Atar, F'derik
Location (geographical coordinates/latitude and longitude): Nouakchott: 18°09'N, 15°58'W
Time Zone: GMT
Size (Land and Sea): 1,030,700 km², Water: 0.03%
Borders with Atlantic Ocean, Senegal, Mali, Algeria, Western Sahara
Elevation extremes: Lowest point: Sebkha de Ndrhamcha -3 m, highest point: Kediet Ijill 910 m 

Head of State: President: Sidi Ould Cheikh Abdallahi, Prime Minister: Zeine Ould Zeidane
Form of Government: Parliamentary Democracy
Independancy (from France): November 28, 1960
Currency: Ouguiya

Industries: fish processing, mining of iron ore and gypsum.
Natural resources: iron ore, gypsum, copper, phosphate, diamonds, gold, oil, fish
Agriculture: dates, millet, sorghum, rice, corn; cattle, sheep
Population and People  

Population: 3,270,065 (2007 est.); 3,069,000 (2005 est.), 1,864,236 (1988)
Population density per sq mi: 8
Growth rate:  2.92% (2007 est.)
Birth rate: 40.54 births/1,000 population (2002 est.)
Total fertility rate: 5.78 children born/woman (2007 est.)
Infant mortality rate: 68.1/1000
Religion: 99.84% Muslim, most of whom are Sunnis.
Languages: Arabic, French
Ethnic groups / Tribes: 40% mixed Arab/black; 30% Arab; 30% Black
Age structure: 0-14 years: 45.5% (male 744,995/female 741,369); 15-64 years: 52.4% (male 845,272/female 866,998); 65 years and over: 2.2% (male 28,564/female 42,867) (2007 est.)
Life expectancy: 53.5
Literacy: Total population: 41.2%, male: 51.5%, female: 31.3% (2002 est.)