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History[edit | edit source]
Mauritania is a country in Northwest Africa. It is the eleventh largest sovereign state in Africa The country derives its name from the ancient Berber kingdom of Mauretania, which existed from the 3rd century BCE into the 7th century CE in the far north of modern-day Morocco and Algeria. Approximately 90% of Mauritania's land is within the Sahara; consequently, the population is concentrated in the south, where precipitation is slightly higher.
The capital and largest city is Nouakchott, located on the Atlantic coast, which is home to around one-third of the country's 4.3 million people. The government was overthrown on 6 August 2008, in a military coup d'état led by General Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz. On 16 April 2009, Aziz resigned from the military to run for president in the 19 July elections, which he won.
Timeline[edit | edit source]
1880 - 1900 Mauritania expelled some 70,000 sub-Saharan African Mauritanians
1920 - Mauritania was part of French West Africa, as a protectorate and, then, a colony
1960 - Mauritania became an independent nation
1981 - Slavery was formally abolished by law, making Mauritania the last country in the world to do so
2010 - The Arab Spring was a series of anti-government protests, uprisings, and armed rebellions that spread across the Middle East