| Mauritania, Islamic Republic
of, republic, north-western Africa, bordered on the north by
Western Sahara and Algeria,
on the east by Mali,
on the south by Mali
and on the west by the Atlantic Ocean.
A former French colony,
Mauritania achieved full independence on November 28, 1960.
Official Name : Islamic Republic of Mauritania (Aljumhuriya
Al Islamiya Al Muritaniya)
Capital City : Nouakchott
Languages : Arabic (official), French and local dialects
Official Currency : Ouguiya
Religions : Muslim
Population : 2,747,312 (2001 est.)
Land Area : 1,025,520 sq km (395,593 sq miles)
12 regions and 1 capital district : Adrar, Assaba, Brakna,
Dakhlet Nouadhibou, Gorgol, Guidimaka, Hodh Ech Chargui, Hodh
El Gharbi, Inchiri, Nouakchott, Tagant, Tiris Zemmour, Trarza
Flag : The Mauritanian flag consists of a gold crescent and
a five-point star on a field of green. Green, the symbolic
color of Islam, was the color of the prophet's standard, the
crescent and star are the symbol of Islam.
National Anthem :
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
front seeking independence for the territory.
Opposition parties were legalized and a new constitution
approved in 1991. Two multiparty presidential elections since
then were widely seen as flawed, but October 2001 legislative
and municipal elections were generally free and open.
Mauritania remains, in reality, a one-party state.
The country continues to experience ethnic tensions between
its black minority population and the dominant Maur (Arab-Berber)