Country Listing

Mauritania Table of Contents


The Army

Figure 13. Military Ranks and Insignia, 1987

Since its formation, the Mauritanian Army has undergone several reorganizations. It was created in October 1961 as the First Infantry Battalion with its headquarters in Rosso. Units of the battalion were stationed in Atar, Akjoujt, Néma, 'Ayoûn el 'Atroûs, and Nouakchott. The many problems of command, flexibility, and mobility led to a reorganization in 1962 that provided for a national command in Nouakchott and separate functional, rather than territorial, units. In 1987 the army consisted of one infantry battalion, two armored car squadrons, one parachute-commando company, three reconnaissance squadrons, two artillery batteries, one airborne company, one engineering corps, and one antiaircraft battery. The Camel Corps, considered a paramilitary unit, although under the jurisdiction of the army, numbered 100 and patrolled the borders. The highest ranking officer in the army was a colonel (see fig. 13). Although the army was the primary defender of Mauritanian security, it was underequipped and undertrained, leaving Mauritania vulnerable (see table 3, Appendix).

Data as of June 1988