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Yearbook 2002

Mauritania. At the beginning of the year, the regime ordered the dissolution of the opposition party Action for Change (AC). However, its members would be allowed to retain their seats in Parliament. The party seemed to be in favor of greater rights for blacks and slaves.

2002 Mauritania

Accusations came from the government that AC was trying to undermine the country's national unity and that its actions could create tensions with Senegal. On AC's side, it was claimed that the ban came because of the party's success in the local elections.

Party leader Messaoud Ould Belkheir had also criticized the government for allowing people to still live under slave-like conditions in the country and for the country to resume diplomatic relations with Israel in 2001.

During the fall, the civil rights organization Amnesty International also demanded that the government take measures to counter slavery and discrimination against former slaves and criticized that so little had been done since the country officially abolished slavery in 1981.

According to Countryaah website, several warnings also came about that starvation threatened after six bad harvests in a row as a result of both drought and severe rainfall. At the end of November, more than 10% of children were reported to suffer from severe malnutrition in the most vulnerable areas. This is in the countryside where tradition invites the children to get food first. Several hundred thousand people were in need of food aid, and it was feared that the situation would become acute in early 2003. However, the aid seemed to be delayed.

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