Mauritania is located on the coast of
northwestern Africa and consists of desert and steppe.
The country is a bridge between Arab and African
culture. Power lies in the hands of the Arabic-speaking
Moors. By the end of the 2000s, hundreds of thousands
(mostly black) Mauritanian slaves were being held.
Despite the ban, slavery is still a problem. After
independence from France in 1960, the country has almost
always been ruled by the military. Mauritania exports
oil, gold and copper.
Brief profiles of Mauritania, including geography, history, politics, economics as well as common acronyms about this country.
Geography and climate
Mauritania is located in the border country
between West and North Africa and has a coast towards
the Atlantic. The land is flat and consists largely of
desert or peninsula. On the surface, Mauritania is more
than twice the size of Sweden, but it has only one third
as many inhabitants.
Northern Mauritania is part of the Sahara desert and
about 40 percent of the country is covered by loose sand
and dunes. Since the beginning of the 1960s, the desert
has expanded about 20 km south.
Sahara crosses south in the so-called Sahel belt,
which consists of steppe and savanna. Here, nomads have
traditionally driven large livestock herds, but
recurring drought has caused pastures to shrink. The
only cultivable area in the country is Chemama north of
the Senegal River in the southwest.
The 75 km long Atlantic coast to the west is flat and
sandy without natural ports, with the exception of
Nouâdhibou (formerly Port Étienne) at the far north. To
the south of this city is the Banc d'Arguin National
Park, which is a vast wetland area and a bird's eye
Most of Mauritania has a desert climate. The rainfall
is increasing further south. In the Sahel belt, 100-300
millimeters of rain falls annually and in Chemama it
rains 400-600 millimeters annually. The rainfall varies
greatly from year to year. Long dry periods have in
recent decades created difficult conditions for
FACTS - GEOGRAPHY AND CLIMATE
1 030 700 km2 (2018)
Swedish –1 hour
Adjacent country (s)
Algeria, Mali, Senegal 1
Capital with number of inhabitants
Nouakchott 870,000 (Estimated 2012)
Other major cities
Kiffa 91 300, Nouâdhibou 85 300 (Estimated 2012)
Kediat Idjil (915 m asl)
Average Precipitation / year
Nouakchott 150 mm
Average / day
Nouakchott 22 °C (Jan), 28 °C (July)
- Mauritania also borders on Western Sahara
occupied by MoroccoSources
President is shot "accidentally"
Abdelaziz is injured when a group of soldiers open fire on his vehicle
column. The gunfire is described as "a mistake" and the injuries are reported to
be minor, but the president is nevertheless flown to Paris to receive care. He
returns at the end of November, after six weeks in France.
Protests against the President
Nine opposition groups hold peaceful demonstrations in Nouakchott demanding
the resignation of President Abdelaziz. They accuse the president of cheating on
victory in the 2009 elections and refusing to start a dialogue with the