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Mauritania

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Mauritania

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Population: 3,359,185 (est.)

Language(s): Arabic

Capital: Nouakchott

Interesting Facts:

  • The Mauritanian ouguiya is the official currency of Mauritania.
  • The country is nearly 100% Muslim, most of whom are Sunnis. The Roman Catholic Diocese of Nouakchott, founded in 1965, serves the 4,500 Catholics in Mauritania.
  • Mauritania still faces a rampant problem with the trafficking of children for the purposes of forced labor, sexual exploitation and begging.
  • Being a desert country the climate in Mauritania is hot and dry.
  • Mauritania is one of the few countries to still follow the practice of compulsory military service of 2 years.
  • Being one of the poorest countries in the world, with about 40% of its population still below the poverty line, Mauritania depends heavily on iron ore exports, fishing and off shore oil wells for its economic progress.

Mauritania, officially the Islamic Republic of Mauritania, is an Arab Maghreb country in West Africa. It is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean in the west, by Western Sahara (controlled by Morocco) in the north, by Algeria in the northeast, by Mali in the east and southeast, and by Senegal in the southwest. It is named after the ancient Berber Kingdom of Mauretania, which later became a province of the Roman Empire, even though the modern Mauritania covers a territory far to the south of the old Berber kingdom that had no relation with it. The capital and largest city is Nouakchott, located on the Atlantic coast.

The government of Mauritania was overthrown on 6 August 2008, in a military coup d’état led by General Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz. On 16 April 2009, General Aziz resigned from the military to run for president in the 19 July elections, which he won. In Mauritania about 20% of the population live on less than US$1.25 per day.

Slavery in Mauritania has been called a major human rights issue as well as female genital mutilation, child labour, and human trafficking.

Source: Wikipedia

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