History of Mauritania: Rise of Nationalism

History of Mauritania: Rise of Nationalism Last updated on Thursday 22nd April 2010

During the colonial period, Mauritania remained little more than an administrative appendage to Senegal. The first nationalist party, the Entente Mauritanienne, was set up by Ould Babana, Mauritania's first representative in the French senate.

This was followed by the conservative Union Progressive Mauritanienne (UPM) which was founded in 1948 by traditionalist tribal leaders. Ould Daddah was one of their principal leaders and was later chosen by France as head of the Mauritanian Advisory Council.

The Entente was absorbed and a new party, the Parti de Regroupement Mauritanien (PRM) was formed in 1958. With French support in the first elections to the National Assembly, the PRM won all 40 seats, political opposition having been banned.

Independence was granted on 28th November 1960, but only to prevent Mauritania from being absorbed by Morocco. Morocco in fact did not recognize Mauritania until 1969.

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