Before the Arab Spring: Democratic Transition in Mauritania


Monday, April 27, 2015, 5:00pm to 6:30pm


Belfer Case Study Room, CGIS S020, 1730 Cambridge St, Cambridge, MA 02138

ely ould mouhamad vallThe Center for Middle Eastern Studies is pleased to present

Ely Ould Mouhamad Vall
Former president of Mauritania

Mauritania became independent from French colonial rule in 1960. In the past five decades or so of nation building, Mauritania faced a variety of developmental challenges, including poverty, drought, ethnic strife, political instability, and above all authoritarian rule. In August 2005, the Mauritanian military staged a coup that toppled President Mouawiyya Ould Ahmed Taya, the longest serving president in post-colonial Mauritania, who single-handedly ruled the country between 1984 and 2004. Led by Eli Ould Muhammad Vall, the emerging Military Council for Justice and Democracy committed to supervise the transition to democratic rule. In March 2007, the military organized the first fully democratic elections in the country's post-colonial history and handed over power to elected president Sidi Ould Cheikh Abdallah. After a short rule, Sidi Ould Cheikh Abdallah was toppled by the military under the leadership of Muhammad b. Abd Aziz who succeeded him as a civilian-elected president. Former President Eli Vall will offer a broad overview of politics in Mauritania and answer all questions related to postcolonial challenges that the Mauritanian state is facing, including security issues, religious extremism, ethnic conflicts, and slavery.

ContactLiz Flanagan