Mauritania Table of Contents
Mauritania is a member of the United Nations. It is represented in the International Labour Organisation, the World Health Organization, the International Telecommunication Union, and the Intergovernmental Consultative Organization on Maritime Navigation. In Africa, Mauritania is a member of the OAU and, at the regional level, the Economic Community of West Africa (Communauté Economique de l'Afrique Occidentale--CEAO), the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), and the Nonaggression and Mutual Assistance and Defense Accord (a mutual defense accord among several francophone states of West Africa). Mauritania also belongs to the Arab League.
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Writing on Mauritania, so rich for the medieval and precolonial periods when Mauritania served as a cultural and economic link between North Africa and sub-Saharan Africa, had shrunk by the postindependence period, when a constellation of factors relegated Mauritania to a relatively minor role in West Africa. Moreover, drought, war, and domestic security concerns have virtually eliminated the discretionary funds the government might otherwise have spent for publishing documentary materials pertaining to contemporary Mauritanian government and politics. The principal sources for this chapter included the earlier version of Mauritania: A Country Study; a similar but more detailed study entitled Introduction à la Mauritanie compiled by the Centre de Recherches et d'Etudes sur les Sociétés Méditerranéennes (CRESM) and the Centre d'Etudes d'Afrique Noire and published by the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS); and J.C. Arnaud's Les institutions politiques de la Mauritanie. Contemporary sources included Africa South of the Sahara published by Europa; Africa Contemporary Record; Chaab, Mauritania's French-language daily newspaper; the Quarterly Economic Reviews and Country Reports and Quarterly Economic Review published by the Economist Intelligence Unit; and the following news magazines: Jeune Afrique, Africa Research Bulletin, Africa Confidential, and Marchés tropicaux et Méditerranéens. (For further information and complete citations, see Bibliography.)
Data as of June 1988