Mauritania’s Strategic Significance

France Mauritania
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 Some clues which might explain why Mauritania under Aziz is a strategically important “security partner”:
  • Free media training by foreign “experts”; more powers for press authority; unprecedented churn in state media at all levels; funding problems for independent media.
  • New legislation to gag whistleblowers and bloggers approved by Aziz, to be ratified by a government severely weakened by the opposition election boycott.
  • Aziz, sanctioned by the African Union after leading the last coup, is now in charge of the African Union
  • A 10,000-strong UN “peacekeeping” force plus additional police is now planned for deployment in CAR – taking control of 6,000 African Union troops, and with 2,000 French troops “allowed” to support.
  • Calls from the political fringe in Libya, hastily and enthusiastically echoed by France, for border security, using troops from neighboring countries AND non-neighbor Mauritania.
  • Patrol vessels and helicopters from Spain‘s gendarmerie to be deployed in Mauritania for border security against smuggling and illegal immigration, after claiming the first Spanish military arrivals a few months ago were there for a “training exercise”
  • The USA, after years of maintaining a “hands-off” policy, is now engaged in joint patrols with Mauritania border security.
  • Reportedly rejected by Algeria, France is said to want to establish a military surveillance and monitoring base in Atar, Mauritania

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