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Mauritania (Arabic: موريتانيا‎ Mūrītāniyā), officially the Islamic Republic of Mauritania, is a country in northwest Africa. It is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean on the west, by Senegal on the southwest, by Mali on the east and southeast, by Algeria on the northeast, and by the Morocco-controlled Western Sahara on the northwest. It is named after the Roman province whose borders were roughly equivalent to those of the modern country. The capital and largest city is Nouakchott, located on the Atlantic coast.

The civilian government of Mauritania was overthrown on 6 August 2008, in a military coup d'état led by General Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz. On April 16, 2009, General Aziz resigned from the military to run for president in the July 19 elections; which he won. In Mauritania about 20 % of the population live on less than US$ 1.25 per day.

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