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Mauritania News

Mauritania's ruling party sweeps polls

Nouakchott - Mauritania's ruling party swept legislative, municipal and local elections, according to final results announced Monday, in a key test before a presidential poll seven months away.

Mauritanian women face prosecution for reporting rape: NGO

Paris - Women and girls in Mauritania who are raped are often unwilling to report the crime out of fear that they themselves will be jailed for breaking the east African nation's strict laws on sex outside marriage, Human Rights Watch said Wednesday.

AU summit overshadowed by 'security failings' in Sahel after attacks

Nouakchott - French President Emmanuel Macron joined African leaders gathered in the Mauritanian capital on the final evening of a summit overshadowed by security issues after jihadist rebels hammered two fragile Sahel states in successive attacks.

Food crisis worsens in Sahel region: UN aid chief

New York - The United Nations aid chief raised alarm Tuesday over a worsening food crisis in the Sahel region that has sent malnutrition rates skyrocketing to their worst level since 2012.

Turkey announces $5m for Sahel anti-jihadist force

Nouakchott - Turkey will donate $5 million (4.1 million euros) to a fledgling force of five nations battling terrorism and trafficking in the Sahel, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced during a visit to Mauritania.

Erdogan makes first visit to Mauritania in West Africa tour

Nouakchott - Recep Tayyip Erdogan landed in Mauritania on Wednesday flanked by businessmen and primed to sign several cooperation deals in the first visit by a Turkish president to Nouakchott.

UN's Western Sahara envoy to hold talks in Berlin

New York - The UN envoy on Western Sahara talks between Morocco and the Polisario Front has invited the parties and neighboring countries to Berlin for bilateral talks, a UN spokesperson said Tuesday.

Mauritanian activists arrested over massacre protest: rights groups

Nouakchott - Five family members seeking justice for black Mauritanian soldiers executed in 1990 were in custody Thursday for protesting at an independence day celebration, rights groups said.

Mauritania's controversial new flag flies for first time

Nouakchott - A new national flag for Mauritania flew for the first time on Tuesday, the country's independence day, following a contested constitutional referendum that prompted a senator's arrest and hunger strike.

For Malians in Mauritanian desert, going home is a mirage

Nouakchott - It is hardly the most inviting place to call home -- a sprawling tent city in a sea of reddish sand in southeastern Mauritania.

Mauritania votes to abolish Senate by referendum

Nouakchott - Mauritanians have voted to abolish their Senate and alter their national flag by referendum, the electoral commission announced Sunday, in a clear victory for President Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz the day after the vote.While turnout was 53.

Mauritania votes on constitution after tense campaign

Nouakchott - Mauritanians began voting Saturday on several contentious changes to their constitution sought by President Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz but opposed by a wide swathe of opposition lawmakers and civil society groups.

Mauritanian party complains of 'unequal' referendum campaign

Nouakchott - The sole Mauritanian political party urging citizens to vote "No" in a controversial referendum on abolishing the Senate complained Wednesday their ability to campaign had been severely restricted.

Three jihadist groups in Africa's Sahel announce merger

Nouakchott - Three jihadist groups operating in the Sahel region have merged to form one single organisation, Mauritania's private news agency ANI said Thursday, citing a video distributed by the Islamists.

Appeals to faith and patriotism persuaded Gambia ex-leader to quit

Conakry - In pushing Yahya Jammeh to give up The Gambia's presidency, negotiators played on two key cards: his deep Muslim faith and his professed love of country.

Malian jihadist group denies 'ceasefire' claim

Nouakchott - The Malian jihadist group Ansar Dine has denied agreeing to a ceasefire with the government, a Mauritanian news agency and extremist monitoring group said Tuesday.

Freed 'Guantanamo Diary' author forgives US jailers

Nouakchott - A former Guantanamo Bay detainee from Mauritania who wrote a best-selling book about his experiences said Saturday he forgives those who tortured and detained him without trial for 14 years.

13 anti-slavery activists sentenced in Mauritania

Nouakchott - Thirteen anti-slavery activists in Mauritania were sentenced to between three and 15 years in prison, despite criticism of the case against them by international rights groups.

Thousands protest against axing of Mauritania senate

Nouakchott - Thousands of people gathered in the Mauritanian capital Nouakchott to protest against a move by President Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz to abolish the senate.

Thousands demand justice for ex-slaves in Mauritania

Nouakchott - Thousands of people have marched for the rights of former slaves in Mauritania and to denounce injustice against them in the west African nation where slavery persists despite being officially abolished decades ago.

Jihadists claim kidnap of Swiss woman in Mali: Report

Nouakchott - Private Mauritanian news agency Al-Akhbar said Tuesday that it had received a video purportedly from the Al-Qaeda-linked Emirate of the Sahara group claiming responsibility for this month's kidnapping of Swiss woman Beatrice Stockly in northern Mali.

Escaped Al-Qaeda death row prisoner held in Guinea

Nouakchott - A Mauritanian Al-Qaeda jihadist, on death row until his escape on New Year's Eve, was re-arrested on Tuesday night after crossing the Guinea-Bissau border into Guinea, security sources said Wednesday.

US repatriates Guantanamo detainee to Mauritania

Washington - A Mauritanian detainee at the US military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Ahmed Ould Abdel Aziz, has been repatriated after 13 years behind bars, the Pentagon said Thursday, as Washington pursues efforts to close the facility.

Mauritania's tough anti-slavery laws face tougher resistance

Nouakchott - Mauritania became the last country to abolish slavery 34 years ago, but despite ever harsher laws which now declare the practice a crime against humanity, a deeply ingrained resistance has made the shackles hard to break.

Jihadist group Ansar Dine claims Mali attacks, threatens I. Coast and Mauritania

Bamako - Jihadist group Ansar Dine on Tuesday claimed responsibility for two weekend attacks in Mali near the borders with Mauritania and Ivory Coast, and threatened to strike both countries.

Belmokhtar's jihadist group in N.Africa vows allegiance to IS

Nouakchott - The jihadist group of notorious one-eyed Algerian militant Mokhtar Belmokhtar has pledged allegiance to the Islamic State organisation, according to an audio recording broadcasted by private Mauritanian agency Al-Akhbar.

Mauritania jails senior Al-Qaeda figure

Nouakchott - A senior Al-Qaeda leader accused of planning attacks on the United States, Europe and Australia has been jailed for 20 years in Mauritania for "terrorist activities", a judicial source said on Tuesday.

Al-Qaeda-linked jihadists claim UN suicide attack in Mali

Nouakchott - The Al-Qaeda-linked group of notorious one-eyed Algerian militant Mokhtar Belmokhtar claimed responsibility in a recording Friday for a deadly suicide attack on the United Nations in Mali.

Mauritania issues first apostasy death sentence

Nouakchott - Mauritania has delivered its first death sentence for apostasy since independence in 1960, ordering capital punishment for a Muslim man who wrote an article deemed blasphemous of Islam.

Burkina Faso army pledges 'consensus' govt

Ouagadougou - Burkina Faso's military has promised to hand power to a "consensus" leader following the popular uprising that toppled Blaise Compaore, as African nations gave the regime two weeks to return to civilian rule.
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Nouakchott  the capital of Mali.
Nouakchott, the capital of Mali.