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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 Polisario guerrilla front seeking independence for the territory. Maaouya Ould Sid Ahmed TAYA seized power in a coup in 1984 and ruled Mauritania with a heavy hand for more than two decades. A series of presidential elections that he held were widely seen as flawed. A bloodless coup in August 2005 deposed President TAYA and ushered in a military council that oversaw a transition to democratic rule. Independent candidate Sidi Ould Cheikh ABDALLAHI was inaugurated in April 2007 as Mauritania's first freely and fairly elected president. His term ended prematurely in August 2008 when a military junta led by General Mohamed Ould Abdel AZIZ deposed him and ushered in a military council government. AZIZ was subsequently elected president in July 2009 and sworn in the following month. The country continues to experience ethnic tensions among its black population (Afro-Mauritanians) and white and black Moor (Arab-Berber) communities, and is having to confront a growing terrorism threat by al-Qa'ida in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM).


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Military

Military branches
Mauritanian Armed Forces: Army, Mauritanian Navy (Marine Mauritanienne; includes naval infantry), Islamic Air Force of Mauritania (Force Aerienne Islamique de Mauritanie, FAIM) (2010)

Military service age and obligation
18 years of age for obligatory conscription of all males; conscript service obligation - 2 years; majority of servicemen believed to be volunteers; service in Air Force and Navy is voluntary (2006)

Manpower available for military service
Males age 16-49 718,713
Females age 16-49 804,622 (2010 est.)

Manpower fit for military service
Males age 16-49 480,042
Females age 16-49 581,473 (2010 est.)

Manpower reaching militarily significant age annually
Male 36,116
Female 36,826 (2010 est.)

Military expenditures World Ranking: 12
5.5% of GDP (2006)


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Mauritania (Nouakchott):
Country Flag
Country Locator

GPS points from Mauritania (Nouakchott)

square Amgli El Bgar Mauritania (general)

square Wiwatt Mauritania (general)

square Guelb El 'aoude Mauritania (general)

square Bagzaza Mauritania (general)

square Iguilid Tindiat Mauritania (general)

square Dabr Aoukar Mauritania (general)

square Ziret Tibergent Mauritania (general)

square Nbeilit Tichilit Mauritania (general)




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