Mauritania. The charity Oxfam in March warned of a humanitarian disaster in the Sahel region of West Africa where 13 million people were threatened by famine due to drought. The organization appealed to donors to raise $ 36 million to help just over a million of the worst-affected people in the Sahel, which includes Burkina Faso, Niger, Mali, Mauritania, Chad and northern Senegal. According to Oxfam, 10-15% of residents in these countries were malnourished. Over one million children in the Sahel region risked severe malnutrition. The famine was caused by drought, high food prices, poverty and regional conflicts. The situation was aggravated by the fact that many Malaysians fled into Mauritania and other neighboring countries because of the mutual fighting in northern Mali.
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|Land area||1,030,700 km²|
|Population density (per km²）||3.9|
|Income per capita||4,500 USD|
|ISO 3166 code||MR|
|Time zone UTC||± 0|
|Geographic coordinates||20 00 N, 12 00 W.|
Thousands of people demonstrated in the capital Nouakchott in April demanding the resignation of President Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz. The peaceful demonstrations were organized by nine different protest groups. They accused the president of cheating on the 2009 electoral victory and refusing to enter into a genuine dialogue with the opposition. Abdel Aziz took power in a coup in August 2008 and won the election in July 2009. Already the opposition accused him of electoral fraud, but observers from the African Union said the election had been conducted correctly.
On October 14, President Abdel Aziz was accidentally shot when a soldier opened fire when he did not recognize the car in which the President was traveling. Abdel Aziz was lightly injured in one arm, but nevertheless flew to Paris for care and returned to Mauritania only at the end of November.
According to countryaah, the population of Mauritania in 2012 was 4,046,190, ranking number 129 in the world. The population growth rate was 2.980% yearly, and the population density was 3.9258 people per km2.
Estimates from international organizations indicate that the number of residents in 1998 was just over 2.5 million. The annual rate of demographic increase is very high (32 ‰ in the 1990s), especially if compared to the real development potential of the country. The population of Mauritania is quite far from having completed the demographic transition phase; the birth rates fell modestly (in 1990-95 they were about 40%), while the death rates fell to about 14%, which is still very high. Life expectancy is around 50 years and infant mortality is very high (just over 90%).
The period of economic expansion that affected the country in the 1960s and the repeated drought cycles that hit Mauritania and the whole Sahelian region starting from the 1970s have profoundly changed the habits of life of the residents. The nomadic and semi-nomadic population has significantly reduced and currently constitutes just over a tenth of the total (it was about 80% in 1965); conversely, between 1970 and 1998 the population defined as urban went from 14% to 55%. The capital, Nouakchott, has 735,000 residents; the second largest city in the country, the former capital Nouadhibou, is still far from 100,000 residents. For the rest, they are modest residential settlements, with an essentially agricultural production structure.
The populations inhabiting the Western Sahara are designated by the name of Mauri and are made up of a mixture of Berbers, Arabs and Negroes. In general, however, white blood predominates. White Mauri have a straight and sharp nose, slightly aquiline; broad forehead; very lively and very expressive eyes, black, well cut; small thin-lipped mouth; elongated oval face. They generally have a full, short and sparse beard, and have long, abundant, wavy hair. They are pale and amber in color, they are thin and dry and their sobriety is proverbial.
Among the Mauri there are warrior tribes, such as the Reguibat, the Uled-bu-Sba, the Uled-Delim, and religious and marabout tribes such as the Tadiakant and the Barakallah. The warriors, the Beni-Hassan, claim Arab origin and form the noble class. Marabouts in principle do not carry weapons; they reconnect with the two great Muslim brotherhoods of the Kadriya and the Tidjaniya. The rest of the population is made up of tributaries, called Zenaga or harratin, and of ancient hut or trafficking slaves. Men’s clothing is made up of a kind of wide shirt (draa); that of women, of a wide tunic (melhafa). Both garments are of blue guinea and close to the skin; hence the name of “blue men” with which the Moors are often designated. With the exception of some groups that the need to cultivate palm groves has made them semi-sedentary, the Moors are essentially nomads and shepherds; they live in camps that move according to the seasons, to get closer to the places where they find water. During the dry season the populations of Trarza, Brakna and Gorgol go to Senegal to find the pastures necessary for their camels; when the rainy season arrives, they go up towards N. to escape the diseases from which they are struck in the river area.