• Mauritania Politics and Security

    By MENAS Associates, May 2012 Mauritania has seen a surge in public demonstrations about unemployment, poor infrastructure, women’s rights, food insecurity, slavery, and a national registration program deemed discriminatory. The underlying message of many of the protests is a desire to end military rule. Meanwhile, having undertaken comparatively tough cross-border counterterrorism operations, Mauritania faces further terrorist threats as groups have strengthened from territorial gains in northern Mali. Further military actions and terror attacks, however, may only create more dissent among the populace, leaving the current regime precarious. Download the article [PDF]
  • Mauritania’s Islamists

    By Alex Thurston. Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, March 2012 The legalization of once harshly suppressed Islamist groups in Mauritania has yielded a largely tolerant movement that supports democratic order and rejects jihadism. Islam appears to be the guiding value not the political doctrine of mainstream Mauritanian Islamists who are increasingly politically active and astute. However, their latitude to further undermine extremist ideologies and threats to Mauritania is tempered by the political necessity to remain distant from an unpopular regime that has aggressively pursued extremist groups. Download the article [PDF]
  • Sifting Through the Layers of Insecurity in the Sahel: The Case of Mauritania

    By Cédric Jourde, Africa Center for Strategic Studies

    mauritania_armyIncreasing narcotraffic and a more active AQIM are elevating concerns over instability in the Sahel. However, the region’s threats are more complex than what is observable on the surface. Rather, security concerns are typically characterized by multiple, competing, and fluctuating interests at the local, national, and regional levels. Effectively responding to these threats requires in-depth understanding of the multiple contextual layers in which illicit actors operate.

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