An overview of the sometimes competing, sometimes converging protest movements active in Mauritania today from Alex Thurston.

Sahel Blog

Protests currently underway in Mauritania highlight the complexity of the movements that analysts have generalized as the “Arab Uprisings.” The relative lack of international coverage of Mauritania, meanwhile, shows the selective nature of how major media outlets have presented these uprisings to Western audiences. I have been hesitating for weeks to write a post about the protests in Mauritania because of how complicated the situation is there, but I want to offer a partial look at the protests today, hopefully as a basis for returning to the subject next week. Lissnup has written an indispensable background piece on the protests, and I recommend you read it before continuing with this post. Lissnup is also providing regular day-by-day updates such as this one.

I see at least four partly overlapping protest movements at work: one that the political opposition (especially the coalition called Coordination de l’opposition démocratique or COD) leads or claims…

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