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on the approximately 100,000 Senegalese in the country to leave Mauritania within 15 days, which was shortly thereafter withdrawn.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.
Presidential republic, formerly dependent on France (it was one of the eight possessions that formed French West Africa), independent since November 28, 1960. Mauritania extends over 1,030,700 km 2; in 1966 the eastern border with Mali, which was winding, was rectified. It is divided into 8 regions, to which the district of the capital must be added, transferred in 1962 from Port-Ètienne (now Nouadhibou) to Nouakchott which, sprung from nothing, has 103,500 residents. (1975). In February 1976, Mauritania enlarged the southern part of Western Sahara. The border line with Morocco follows the 24th parallel, starting from the sea just N of Dakhla (Villa Cisneros), then, starting from Bir Enzaran it turns south-east. Although an African country, populated by Mauri and Negri, it shows an Arab-Islamic vocation and benefits from being associated with the European Economic Community.
Mauritania counts 1,290,000 residents (1974), with an estimated annual growth of around 2.2%. The Mauri prevail (80% of the population), dedicated to nomadism, while along the Senegal river (which forms the border with the homonymous state), sedentary groups of blacks live (Toucouleur, Bambara, Wolof, etc.). A long period of drought has recently greatly reduced the animal population (400,000 cattle and 2.5 million sheep and goats have died, respectively out of 3.2 million and 8.4 million), and has prompted a part of the population to abandon the pastures to live in the cities, which mark remarkable rates of increase of the residents. Consequently, the values of agricultural-pastoral production (barley, millet, dates) and fishing (sea and freshwater fish, partly exported) have decreased and have lost
In precambric soils located on the southern edge of the Sahara, important deposits of good quality hematite (content 66-69%) have been found in quartzites, especially in the vicinity of the military fort of Fort-Gouraud (now F’Dérick), established in 1935. where in the Kédia d’Idjil chain a completely new center has developed, which has 18,000 residents. The exploitation of the field has given rise to grandiose transformations, thanks to the large-scale use of modern machinery. The distance from the coast made it necessary to build a 615 km long standard gauge railway in desert territory, inaugurated in 1963, which runs across the Atlantic to the port of Nouadhibou. The extraction of the mineral, which began in 1963-64, takes place in the open air; the material is first crushed by means of mines, then loaded onto trucks or trains by mechanical shovels. The trains are 2 km long and carry 15,000 tonnes each. The port can accommodate ships with a tonnage of up to 150,000 t and loading 5,000 t of ore per hour. The exploitation was carried out by the Miferma (Société anonyme des mines de fer de Mauritanie), which in December 1974 was nationalized because it tended to constitute a state within a state, adopting capitalist systems of neo-colonialism. Production rose (1974) to 7.5 million t (of Fe content). Of lesser importance is the copper field of Akjouit, connected by road to the port of Nouakchott, which, in production since 1970, resulted in an export of 33,540 t (1973). The concession was awarded to an American-Canadian company (Socuma). In Idjil, salt is extracted. An oil refinery has started operating in Nouakchott.