General Country Information

In March 2007 Sidi Ould Cheikh Abdallahi won run-off elections to become Mauritania's first democratically elected president since the country gained independence from France in 1960. The elections were the final stage of a democratic handover to civilian rule by a military junta under the leadership of colonel Ely Ould Mohamed Vall which took power in a 2005 coup.

Mauritania’s population is estimated at 3,1 million in total, nearly all of them Sunni Muslims. The spoken language is Hassaniya, a dialect of Arabic. About 51% of the population is literate.

More general information is available at BBC Country Profile and at Wikipedia in both English and Arabic.

Official information can be found at the official website of the government in English, Arabic, and French.