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Introduction: Independent from France in 1960, Mauritania annexed the southern third of the former Spanish Sahara (now Western Sahara) in 1976 but relinquished it after three years of raids by the Polisario guerrilla front seeking independence for the territory. Maaouya Ould Sid Ahmed TAYA seized power in a coup in 1984 and ruled Mauritania with a heavy hand for more than two decades. A series of presidential elections that he held were widely seen as flawed. A bloodless coup in August 2005 deposed President TAYA and ushered in a military council that oversaw a transition to democratic rule. Independent candidate Sidi Ould Cheikh ABDALLAHI was inaugurated...

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Government and Political Conditions: Mauritania is a presidential republic. The government bureaucracy is composed of ministries, special agencies, and parastatal companies. The Ministry of Interior controls a system of regional governors and prefects modeled on the French system of local administration. Under this system, Mauritania is divided into 13 regions (wilaya), including the capital district, Nouakchott. Control is tightly ...

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Mauritania's Relations with the UK: Diplomatic Representation

The British Ambassador in Rabat (Morocco) is accredited to Mauritania. There is an Honorary British Consul in Nouakchott who is responsible for consular protection. There is no Mauritanian Embassy in London, but the Mauritanian Ambassador in Brussels is accredited to the UK.

Recent Visits

-- October 2011: William Hague, Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs.

-- January 2006: H. E. Mohamed Ould Sidiana, Mauritanian Minister of Fisheries and Maritime Economy.

-- March 2005: Zeidane Ould Hmeida, ...

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The early history of the west Saharan region is largely unknown. There are some written accounts by medieval Arab traders and explorers who reached the important caravan trading centers and Sudanic kingdoms of eastern Mauritania, but the major sources of pre-European history are oral history, legends, and archaeological evidence. These sources indicate that during the millennia preceding the ...

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Area Handbook Series
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(UM) Mauritania Ougulya (MRO)
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