The Mauritania Portal - بوابة موريتانيا

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Seal of Mauritania
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Mauritania, officially the Islamic Republic of Mauritania (Arabic: الجمهورية الإسلامية الموريتانية, al-Jumhūrīyah al-Islāmīyah al-Mūrītānīyah), is a sovereign country in Northwest Africa. It is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean to the west, Western Sahara to the north and northwest, Algeria to the northeast, Mali to the east and southeast, and Senegal to the southwest. By land area, Mauritania is the 11th-largest country in Africa and the 28th-largest in the world, and 90% of its territory is situated in the Sahara. Most of its population of approximately 4.3 million lives in the temperate south of the country, with roughly one-third concentrated in the capital and largest city, Nouakchott, located on the Atlantic coast.

The country's name derives from the ancient Berber kingdom of Mauretania, located in North Africa within the ancient Maghreb. Berbers occupied what is now Mauritania beginning in the third century AD. Arabs under the Umayyad Caliphate conquered the area in the late seventh century, bringing Islam, Arab culture, and the Arabic language. In the early 20th century, Mauritania was colonized by France as part of French West Africa. It achieved independence in 1960, but has since experienced recurrent coups and periods of military dictatorship. The most recent coup, in 2008, was led by General Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz, who won subsequent presidential elections in 2009 and 2014. He was succeeded by Mohamed Ould Ghazouani following the 2019 elections, which were considered Mauritania's first peaceful transition of power since independence.

Mauritania is culturally and politically part of the Arab world; it is a member of the Arab League and Arabic is the official language. The official religion is Islam, and almost all inhabitants are Sunni Muslims. Despite its prevailing Arab identity, Mauritanian society is multiethnic; the Bidhan, or so-called "white moors", make up 30% of the population, while the Haratin, or so-called "black moors", comprise 40%. Both groups reflect a fusion of Arab-Berber ethnicity, language, and culture. The remaining 30% of the population comprises various sub-Saharan ethnic groups.

Despite an abundance of natural resources, including iron ore and petroleum, Mauritania remains poor; its economy is based primarily on agriculture, livestock, and fishing. Mauritania is generally seen as having a poor human rights record, and is particularly censured for the perpetuation of slavery as an institution within Mauritanian society, with an estimation by the 2018 Global Slavery Index of about 90,000 slaves in the country (or 2.1% of the population). (Full article...)

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Hodh Ech Chargui (Arabic: ولاية الحوض الشرقي, "Eastern Basin Region") is a large region in eastern Mauritania, with an area of 182,700 km2. Its capital is Néma, but the largest town, in Bassiknou Department, is Fassala (or Vassale) at the extreme southeast of Mauritania, with 65,927 inhabitants at the 2013 census. The region borders the Mauritanian regions of Adrar, Tagant and Hodh El Gharbi to the west and Mali to the east and south. The Aoukar basin, which formerly gave name to a greater region, is located in the western part of Hodh Ech Chargui.

As of 2013, the population of the region was 430,668, compared to 363,071 in 2011. There were 47.71 percent females and 52.29 percent males. As of 2008, the activity rate was 61.50 and economic dependency ratio was 1.11. As of 2008, the literacy rate for people aged 15 years and over was 53.90.

The local government is headed by an elected district representative, while the elections for the local government are conducted every five years. Due to the political instability, the last elections were held in 2023. (Full article...)
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Mauritania competed at the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, which was held from 27 July to 12 August 2012. The country's participation at London marked its eighth appearance in the Summer Olympics since its debut in the 1984 Summer Olympics. The delegation included two track and field athletes, Jidou El Moctar and Aicha Fall, who were selected to the team by wildcard places, as the nation had no athletes that met either the "A" or "B" qualifying standards. Moctar was selected as flag bearer for the opening ceremony while a LOCOG Games Maker carried it for the closing ceremony. Neither of the two athletes progressed beyond the heats. (Full article...)

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Cities and towns

 
Largest cities or towns in Mauritania
Rank Name Region Pop.
Nouakchott
Nouakchott
Nouadhibou
Nouadhibou
1 Nouakchott Nouakchott 1,195,600 Kiffa
Kiffa
2 Nouadhibou Dakhlet Nouadhibou 118,167
3 Kiffa Assaba 60,005
4 Néma Hodh Ech Chargui 57,000
5 Rosso Traza 51,026
6 Kaédi Gorgol 45,539
7 Zouérat Tiris Zemmour 44,469
8 Sélibaby Guidimaka 26,420
9 Atar Adrar 25,190
10 Aïoun Hodh El Gharbi 22,796

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