Ould Ghazouani, a close friend and collaborator of the former president, won the 2019 presidential elections, which have set a new precedent: For the first time since independence, the country experienced a peaceful and institutionalized transition from one president to the next.

At the same time, the new president formerly held the most powerful positions in the security apparatus, indicating that the military continues to maintain firm control within the country’s authoritarian regime. Ghazouani seeks to consolidate his power by neutralizing his predecessor, no matter how close they used to be, by launching a far-reaching investigation of former President Ould Abdel Aziz activities during his ten years in office.

Economic transformation is stalling in Mauritania. The economy’s performance is highly dependent on the fluctuation of commodities’ international prices and on yearly climatic oscillations. Given the harsh environmental conditions, most people live in precarious conditions.

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