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1. Geography
2. Political situation
3. Economy
a. Figures
4. Defense
5. Health
6. Education
a. Universities
7. Demographics
8. Religions
a. Freedom
9. Peoples
10. Languages
11. Human rights
12. History
13. Cities and Towns

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Open map of MauritaniaFlag of MauritaniaMauritania /

Army 15,000
Navy 620
Air force 250
Gendarmerie 3,000
National Guard 2,000
Updated 2009.

Mauritania has by definition compulsory service for males only, but available information, which is contradictory, indicates that in effect, military service is in reality voluntary. Ages 18 and up, training and service is 2 years.
The army has 2 camel corps battalions, one battalion of battle tanks, one armoured reconnaissance squadron, 8 garrison infantry battalions, 7 motorized infantry battalions, one commando/para battalion, 3 artillery battalions, 4 air defence batteries, one engineer company and one guard battalion.
The Navy has 10 patrol and coastal combatants, two naval bases, at Nouadhibou and Nouakchott.
Th air force has 2 FTB-337 aircraft, 15 transport air crafts and 4 SF-260E trainers.
Mauritania' military's main challenges have been protection of the borders to Morocco and Algeria, but there have been no incidents in years here. These are the areas of the internationally unresolved issue regarding the status of Western Sahara (occupied and annexed by Morocco) and Sahrawi refugees in camps in Algeria.
Mauritania's military is central in surveillance and actions against terrorists, forging alliances with other nations, first Morocco, second USA.
Mauritania's defense budget was US$150 million (2006), 5.5% of GDP.
Mauritania's military has engaged itself in two recent military coups, and as of January 2009, the military controls the country's politics.

2005 June: Joint exercise Flintlock 2005, acted out in Mauritania, as well as Algeria, Senegal, Mauritania, Mali, Niger and Chad. Forces from Europe, the United States and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) take part. The aim of the exercise is to improve skills of African forces against illegal trade in weaponry, goods and human smuggling, as well as against terrorism.
August 3: A military coup removes President Taya, making director of the national police force, Ely Ould Mohamed Vall, interim president (more / History).
2007 March 11/25: Civil presidential elections are held (more / History).
2008 August 6: A second military coup. The president and prime minister are arrested, and a military junta takes political control, headed by General Ould Abdel Aziz.

By Tore Kjeilen