Mauritania 2002

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.

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, national day of Mauritania is every November 28. 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.

Mauritania Border Countries Map

December

Berber dish on world heritage list

December 16th

The UN organization Unesco classifies couscous as a cultural world heritage site following a joint application from Algeria, Morocco, Mauritania and Tunisia. Couscous consists of crushed groats, usually of wheat, which is steamed and served with a main course and a large variety of seasoning options. Couscous dishes are considered to be of Berber origin and are common throughout North Africa.

The second corona wave sweeps over Mauritania

13th of December

The second wave of the corona pandemic is bringing the country’s healthcare to its knees. The government introduces a curfew and mosques are not allowed to gather people for prayer. Schools and universities are kept closed. The government is appealing to the outside world for financial support. Since March 2020, Mauritania has had more than 10,000 confirmed cases of covid-19 and 222 deaths from the viral disease.

November

First elected president dead

November 23

Former President Ould Cheikh Abdallahi, Mauritania’s first democratically elected president, dies overnight at a hospital in Nouakchott due to heart problems. Abdallahi was elected president in general elections in April 2007. However, he was only allowed to serve as head of state for 15 months before General Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz deposed him in a military coup. Abdallahi refused to recognize the new government and was imprisoned. He was released in 2008 but remained under house arrest for another year. Abdallahi then withdrew from politics and public life.