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Mauritania

Yearbook 2018

Mauritania. In September elections were held for Parliament and the City Council. At the same time, the very first elections were also held for 13 regional councils. More parties than ever, about 100, took part in the elections. The Union Union of the Republic (UPR) government received a total of 89 of the 157 seats in Parliament and thus its own majority. According to Countryaah.com, the Opposition Alliance National Democracy and Unity Forum (FNDU), which boycotted the 2013 election, received a total of 29 seats, 14 of which went to the Islamist party Tewassoul. The regional and local elections were also a great success for UPR, with a majority in all regional councils and in about 75% of the municipalities.

2018 Mauritania

In October, Mohamed Salem Ould Béchir became new Prime Minister. He succeeded Yahya Ould Hademine, who instead became the advisor to President Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz. It also became a new person at the post of defense minister in the form of former army chief of staff Mohamed Ould Ghazouani. Other ministers were allowed to remain.

At year-end, the currency was devalued so that 10 ouquiya became 1 ouquiya. At the same time, a six-month-long process of replacing the banknotes was initiated. Many Mauretanians chose to buy US dollars and euros for their old banknotes. At a meeting in Rwanda's capital Kigali in March, Mauritania signed an agreement to lead the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA). A total of 44 African countries signed the agreement during the year.

In March, three people were sentenced to between 10 and 20 years in prison for slavery. The custom is deeply rooted in society and tens of thousands of people are still estimated to live as slaves. This is despite the fact that slavery has been illegal since 1981 and that in recent years the authorities have sharpened their stance on the issue. Citing Mauritania's failure to do so in November, the United States broke an agreement on favorable trade terms in November. Mauritania reacted strongly and called the decision a betrayal.

In August, the first border crossing between Mauritania and Algeria was opened since the countries became independent. The border crossing is located near the Algerian city of Tindouf.

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