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Fifty years of Mauritanian independence

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Fifty years of Mauritanian independence

Mauritanians must contend with the harsh desert that spreads across nearly three-quarters of the country.

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The year 1960 brought major change to much of Africa. More than a dozen countries gained independence from France alone. Among them is Mauritania, which marked its 50th anniversary of independence on Sunday. Anthony Pazzanita, author of “The Historical Dictionary of Mauritania,” sheds light on why the West African nation still struggles with deep ethnic divisions, poverty and slavery.

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