Mauritania. A water supply dispute broke out between Mauritania and Senegal in June. This is due to Senegal’s plans to resume an irrigation project in the Senegal River, which forms a border between the countries. The Mauritanian government called on the approximately 100,000 Senegalese in the country to leave Mauritania within 15 days, which was shortly thereafter withdrawn. Thousands of Senegalese in Mauritania and hundreds of Mauritanian people in Senegal had already returned to their respective countries. The Senegalese government decided after a short time to abandon its plans.
At the end of June, the EU provided $ 345,000 of earmarked aid to malnourished children in northern Mauritania, an area that has been suffering from severe drought since 1997.
- ABBREVIATIONFINDER: Offers three letter and two letter abbreviations for the country of Mauritania. Also covers country profile such as geography, society and economy.
At the end of October, the government banned the leading opposition party UFD-EN (Union des Forces Démocratiques-Noure Nouvelle) and accused it of revival and of jeopardizing the country’s interests. At the same time, the party’s assets were confiscated. The reasons for the ban were stated statements made by UFD Party leader Ahmed Ould Daddah during an anti-Israeli demonstration in the northern part of the country. The following month, the opposition organized demonstrations in several places, demanding that the regime break the diplomatic relations with Israel established in 1999. The decision to ban the UDF contributed to further tensions. Security forces intervened with tear gas against the protesters, and several of the UFD’s leaders were arrested. Amnesty International criticized the regime for arbitrary arrests and for suppressing opposition in the country. Mauritania’s 40th anniversary as an independent state, November 28, was dimmed because of the unrest, but the regime promised reforms to give the opposition greater parliamentary representation.
According to COUNTRYAAH, the population of Mauritania in 2000 was 2,630,108, ranking number 137 in the world. The population growth rate was 2.600% yearly, and the population density was 2.5519 people per km2.