School and Education in Mauritania

Officially, it is 9 years of compulsory schooling. The primary school is 6 years old and starts when the children are 6 years old. In 2000, 64% of children in the relevant age group attended primary school. High school is also 6 years old (3 + 3). There are four higher education institutions in the country. a university in Nouakchott (founded 1981) and an institute of Islamic studies in Boutilimit (1961). According to UNESCO 2003 estimates, 60% of the adult population is illiterate (48% of men, 68% of women).

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In June 2006, a change of constitution was confirmed in a referendum of 97% of the vote. The amendments allow a president to sit for a maximum of 2 periods (ie, re-elected once). He must be a maximum of 75 years when he is a candidate and the term of government is limited from 6 to 5 years.

In November and December municipal and parliamentary elections were held.

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In preparation for the March 2007 presidential election, the various alliances sought to secure their support from the country’s various factions. The second round of the presidential election was won by Sidi Ould Cheikh Abdallahi with 53% of the vote. Abdallahi had held various ministerial posts during the Taya administration. In his first speech after the election victory, he stated that the country’s development should “be based on legislation and economic development”. The day after his inauguration as president, Abdallahi appointed Zeine Ould Zeidane as prime minister. Zeidane had run for the presidential post himself, but was beaten in the first round. He instead chose to recommend Abdallahi, who resigned by appointing him as prime minister. The military had kept its promise and given power back to civil society two years after the military coup.

Mauritania Country Flag

Mauritania flag source:

In August 2008, General Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz conducted a military coup that ousted President Abdallahi. Abdallahi had tried to remove Aziz and several other senior officers from the military, but these responded by taking power and arresting Abdallahi and Prime Minister Zeidane. Aziz was also a prominent officer in the coup in 2005. He characterized himself as interim president and chairman of the Council of State. A week later, he appointed Moulaye Ould Mohamed Laghdaf to the post of Prime Minister.

While the outside world had accepted the military coup in 2005, it was more critical this time, and Aziz launched an offensive to try to legitimize the dictatorship. However, Morocco initially supported the dictatorship, and later it also received support from Libya and Senegal. However, the African Union continued its condemnation, adopted sanctions against Mauritania in December and continued to regard Abdallahi as the country’s legitimate president.

After Israel went to war in Gaza in December 2008 and subsequently killed 1,300 civilians, Mauritania suspended its diplomatic relations with Israel. When Israel accelerated the ethnic cleansing of Palestinians from East Jerusalem in the spring of 2010 to make way for its own settlers, Mauritania finally broke its diplomatic ties with the rogue state. The only two Arab countries that remained in contact were Jordan and Egypt.

In April 2009, Aziz officially resigned from the presidential post to run for the July 2009 presidential election – which he “won” with 52.6% of the vote. Both the AU and most of the opposition boycotted the election.

In line with US activities in West Africa, Mauritania passed a new anti-terrorism law in July 2010 that gave the security forces extensive powers. Among other things. in the fight against al-Qaeda in the Maghreb (AQIM). A similar law had been overturned by the Constitutional Court in January to violate the Constitution. The military carried out a number of anti-terrorist operations during the year. Primarily in the border areas against Mali, where several Malaysians were killed.