Rugby union in Mauritania is a minor but growing sport.
The governing body is the Mauritanian Rugby Federation (FMR), known in French as Federation Mauritanienne de Rugby. Mauritania takes part in African competitions. However, the lack of infrastructure and finances has been a hindrance in the game's development.
There are currently four member clubs of the Mauritanian Rugby Federation but only one is active.
Les Fennecs d'Amokrouz is the only active club, it is based in Nouakchott, on ground next to the Stade Olympique (across from the Palais des Congrès), it has around 70 players from the juniors to seniors. The club operates thanks to the membership dues, the support of local companies and due to the famous fund raising "rugby party" which has become something of an institution of Noukchottoise nights.
Les Crocodiles de Rosso, Les Orques de Nouadhibou and Les Phacochères de Nouakchott are currently dormant and are subject to intermittent efforts to activate them by the FMR but the federation does not yet have the resources to do so.
A female team was created in Nouakchott to try and qualify for the Rugby sevens at the Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro in 2016.
The Mauritanian national side is known as Les Oryxbut as Mauretania is not a member of the International Rugby Board they did not compete in the 2015 Rugby World Cup. They have played international matches against Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Egypt, Ghana, Libya, Mali, Senegal and Togo. Their only victory was a 10-5 winning margin over Libya on 30 October 2010.
The Armed Forces of Mauritania is the defence force of Islamic Republic of Mauritania, having an army, navy, air force, gendarmerie, and presidential guard. Other services include the national guard and national police, though they both are subordinated to the Ministry of the Interior. As of 2010, the Mauritanian armed forces budget was 5.5% of the country's GDP.
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Nouadhibou is the second largest city in Mauritania and serves as a major commercial centre. The city itself has about 118,000 inhabitants expanding to over 140,000 in the larger metropolitan area. It is situated on a 65-kilometre peninsula or headland called Ras Nouadhibou, Cap Blanc, or Cabo Blanco, of which the western side, with the Moroccan city of La Güera, is part of Western Sahara. Nouadhibou is consequently located merely a couple of kilometres from the border between Mauritania and Morocco de facto, Western Sahara de jure. Its current mayor is Elghassem Ould Bellali, who was installed on 15 October 2018.
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Presidential elections were held in Mauritania on 11 March 2007. As no candidate received a majority of the votes, a second round was held on 25 March between the top two candidates, Sidi Ould Cheikh Abdallahi and Ahmed Ould Daddah. Abdallahi won the second round with about 53% of the vote and took office in April.
Ahmed Ould Daddah is a Mauritanian economist, politician and civil servant. He is a half-brother of Moktar Ould Daddah, the first President of Mauritania, and belongs to the Marabout Ouled Birri tribe. He is currently the President of the Rally of Democratic Forces (RFD) and was designated as the official leader of the opposition following the 2007 presidential election, in which he placed second.
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Yahya Ould Ahmed El Waghef is a Mauritanian politician. He was appointed as Prime Minister of Mauritania on 6 May 2008, serving until the August 2008 coup d'état. Waghef is also President of the National Pact for Democracy and Development (ADIL), and he was Secretary-General of the Presidency from 2007 to 2008.
Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz is a former Mauritanian politician who was the 8th President of Mauritania, in office from 2009 to 2019. A career soldier and high-ranking officer, he was a leading figure in the August 2005 coup that deposed President Maaouya Ould Sid'Ahmed Taya, and in August 2008 he led another coup, which toppled President Sidi Ould Cheikh Abdallahi. Following the 2008 coup, Abdel Aziz became President of the High Council of State as part of what was described as a political transition leading to a new election. He resigned from that post in April 2009 in order to stand as a candidate in the July 2009 presidential election, which he won. He was sworn in on 5 August 2009. He was subsequently re-elected in 2014, then did not seek re-election in 2019. He was succeeded by Mohamed Ould Ghazouani, who assumed office on 1 August 2019.
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Malouma Mint El Meidah ; born October 1, 1960) is a Mauritanian singer, songwriter and politician. Raised in the south-west of the country by parents versed in traditional Mauritanian music, she first performed when she was twelve, soon featuring in solo concerts. Her first song "Habibi Habeytou" harshly criticized the way in which women were treated by their husbands. Though an immediate success, it caused an outcry from the traditional ruling classes. After being forced into marriage while still a teenager, Malouma had to give up singing until 1986. She developed her own style combining traditional music with blues, jazz, and electro. Appearing on television with songs addressing highly controversial topics such as conjugal life, poverty and inequality, she was censored in Mauritania in the early 1990s but began to perform abroad by the end of the decade. After the ban was finally lifted, she relaunched her singing and recording career, gaining popularity, particularly among the younger generation. Her fourth album, Knou (2014), includes lyrics expressing her views on human rights and women's place in society.
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