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Mauritania History

Mauritania - national flagMauritania - national flag

Mauritania - national flag, The flag was officially adopted in 1959. Both the green color and the star and crescent are Islamic symbols. Most residents profess Islam, but the country also has a large minority of black Africans, therefore the green and yellow color as two of the three pan-African colors. The green color should also symbolize hope and prosperity.

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Mauritania - history

Mauritania - History, Mauritania's original black population was from 1000-t. pressed to the south by Arabs and Berbers. The Almoravids began their conquests of Spain based on the northern part of present-day Mauritania. From approximately In 1200 the Moors came to the country (the bright Moors) and their freed slaves eventually formed the black Moors. From about 1440 the Portuguese and later the Dutch were active in the coastal country and participated in the extensive slave trade from here. In the 1800's. French interests gradually became dominant; Mauritania was incorporated into French territory in 1903 and from 1920 it was a French colony.

The country became a self-governing republic in 1958 and gained full independence in 1960. At independence Morocco objected to the fact that the area historically belonged to this country, but through the 1960's the Mauritanian government gradually gained recognition from the governments of the Arab world, and in 1970, Morocco also recognized the country's right to independence. In 1973 Mauritania became a member of the Arab League. When Spain gave up its possessions in Spanish Western Sahara in 1975, Mauritania and Morocco agreed to divide the area. However, Mauritania abstained from military occupation of the territory from which Spain withdrew and ended in 1979 recognizing Western Sahara's right to national independence.

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Since the transition to independence, political developments in Mauritania have been characterized by some unrest between the Moorish and black populations, and between different political groups in the Moorish majority population. The ethnic contradictions have in many cases led to direct confrontations, which have turned some black Mauritans into refugees in Senegal.

Mauritania History

The leader of the military junta who took power in 1984, Maaouiya Ould Sid Ahmed Taya, headed the civilian government from 1992; he was re-elected for the third time in 2003, but the election was not recognized by the opposition. After several coup attempts, the unpopular Taya was finally ousted by a coup in 2005, which brought Colonel Ely Ould Mohammed Vall to power. The stated intention was to prepare for the introduction of real democracy within a two-year period. In 2006, by a referendum, a constitutional amendment was passed to prevent the presidential office from holding the same for more than two five-year terms. At the March 2007 presidential election, Sidi Ould defeated Cheikh Abdallahi; the month after, Mauritania was resumed in the AU, from where the country was suspended following the military coup in 2005.

Already in August 2008, the country experienced another military coup overthrowing President Abdallahi. The Cup leader, Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz (b. 1956), who was one of the leading forces in the coup in 2005, won the year after the presidential election.

One of Mauritania's greatest human rights problems is slavery; it is estimated that approximately 4% of the population are slaves.

 

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