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Mauritania vs. Algeria

Introduction

MauritaniaAlgeria
Background"Independent from France in 1960, Mauritania annexed the southern third of the former Spanish Sahara (now Western Sahara) in 1976 but relinquished it after three years of raids by the Polisario guerrilla front seeking independence for the territory. Maaouya Ould Sid Ahmed TAYA seized power in a coup in 1984 and ruled Mauritania with a heavy hand for more than two decades. A series of presidential elections that he held were widely seen as flawed. A bloodless coup in August 2005 deposed President TAYA and ushered in a military council that oversaw a transition to democratic rule. Independent candidate Sidi Ould Cheikh ABDALLAHI was inaugurated in April 2007 as Mauritania's first freely and fairly elected president. His term ended prematurely in August 2008 when a military junta led by General Mohamed Ould Abdel AZIZ deposed him and installed a military council government. AZIZ was subsequently elected president in July 2009 and sworn in the following month. AZIZ sustained injuries from an accidental shooting by his own troops in October 2012 but has continued to maintain his authority. He was reelected in 2014 to a second and final term as president (according to the present constitution). The country continues to experience ethnic tensions among three major groups: Arabic-speaking descendants of slaves (Haratines), Arabic-speaking ""White Moors"" (Bidhan), and members of Sub-Saharan ethnic groups mostly originating in the Senegal River valley (Halpulaar, Soninke, and Wolof). Mauritania confronts a terrorism threat by al-Qa'ida in the Islamic Maghreb, which launched successful attacks between 2005 and 2011.

The activities of Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), and similar groups, pose a severe security threat to Mauritanians and foreign visitors. AQIM launched a series of attacks in Mauritania between 2005 and 2011, murdering American and foreign tourists and aid workers, attacking diplomatic and government facilities, and ambushing Mauritanian soldiers and gendarmes. A successful strategy against terrorism that combines dialogue with the terrorists and military actions has prevented the country from further terrorist attacks since 2011.
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After more than a century of rule by France, Algerians fought through much of the 1950s to achieve independence in 1962. Algeria's primary political party, the National Liberation Front (FLN), was established in 1954 as part of the struggle for independence and has since largely dominated politics. The Government of Algeria in 1988 instituted a multi-party system in response to public unrest, but the surprising first round success of the Islamic Salvation Front (FIS) in the December 1991 balloting led the Algerian army to intervene and postpone the second round of elections to prevent what the secular elite feared would be an extremist-led government from assuming power. The army began a crackdown on the FIS that spurred FIS supporters to begin attacking government targets. Fighting escalated into an insurgency, which saw intense violence from 1992-98, resulting in over 100,000 deaths - many attributed to indiscriminate massacres of villagers by extremists. The government gained the upper hand by the late-1990s, and FIS's armed wing, the Islamic Salvation Army, disbanded in January 2000.
Abdelaziz BOUTEFLIKA, with the backing of the military, won the presidency in 1999 in an election widely viewed as fraudulent and won subsequent elections in 2004, 2009, and 2014. The government in 2011 introduced some political reforms in response to the Arab Spring, including lifting the 19-year-old state of emergency restrictions and increasing women's quotas for elected assemblies, while also increasing subsidies to the populace. Since 2014, Algeria’s reliance on hydrocarbon revenues to fund the government and finance the large subsidies for the population has fallen under stress because of declining oil prices.

Geography

MauritaniaAlgeria
LocationWestern Africa, bordering the North Atlantic Ocean, between Senegal and Western Sahara
Northern Africa, bordering the Mediterranean Sea, between Morocco and Tunisia
Geographic coordinates20 00 N, 12 00 W
28 00 N, 3 00 E
Map referencesAfrica
Africa
Areatotal: 1,030,700 sq km
land: 1,030,700 sq km
water: 0 sq km
total: 2,381,741 sq km
land: 2,381,741 sq km
water: 0 sq km
Area - comparativeslightly larger than three times the size of New Mexico
slightly less than 3.5 times the size of Texas
Land boundariestotal: 5,002 km
border countries (4): Algeria 460 km, Mali 2,236 km, Senegal 742 km, Western Sahara 1,564 km
total: 6,734 km
border countries (7): Libya 989 km, Mali 1,359 km, Mauritania 460 km, Morocco 1,900 km, Niger 951 km, Tunisia 1,034 km, Western Sahara 41 km
Coastline754 km
998 km
Maritime claimsterritorial sea: 12 nm
contiguous zone: 24 nm
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
continental shelf: 200 nm or to the edge of the continental margin
territorial sea: 12 nm
exclusive fishing zone: 32-52 nm
Climatedesert; constantly hot, dry, dusty
arid to semiarid; mild, wet winters with hot, dry summers along coast; drier with cold winters and hot summers on high plateau; sirocco is a hot, dust/sand-laden wind especially common in summer
Terrainmostly barren, flat plains of the Sahara; some central hills
mostly high plateau and desert; some mountains; narrow, discontinuous coastal plain
Elevation extremesmean elevation: 276 m
elevation extremes: lowest point: Sebkhet Te-n-Dghamcha -5 m
highest point: Kediet Ijill 915 m
mean elevation: 800 m
elevation extremes: lowest point: Chott Melrhir -40 m
highest point: Tahat 3,003 m
Natural resourcesiron ore, gypsum, copper, phosphate, diamonds, gold, oil, fish
petroleum, natural gas, iron ore, phosphates, uranium, lead, zinc
Land useagricultural land: 38.5%
arable land 0.4%; permanent crops 0%; permanent pasture 38.1%
forest: 0.2%
other: 61.3% (2011 est.)
agricultural land: 17.3%
arable land 3.1%; permanent crops 0.4%; permanent pasture 13.8%
forest: 0.6%
other: 82% (2011 est.)
Irrigated land450 sq km (2012)
5,700 sq km (2012)
Natural hazardshot, dry, dust/sand-laden sirocco wind primarily in March and April; periodic droughts
mountainous areas subject to severe earthquakes; mudslides and floods in rainy season
Environment - current issuesovergrazing, deforestation, and soil erosion aggravated by drought are contributing to desertification; limited natural freshwater resources away from the Senegal, which is the only perennial river; locust infestation
soil erosion from overgrazing and other poor farming practices; desertification; dumping of raw sewage, petroleum refining wastes, and other industrial effluents is leading to the pollution of rivers and coastal waters; Mediterranean Sea, in particular, becoming polluted from oil wastes, soil erosion, and fertilizer runoff; inadequate supplies of potable water
Environment - international agreementsparty to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands, Whaling
signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements
party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands
signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements
Geography - noteMauritania is considered both a part of North Africa's Maghreb region and West Africa's Sahel region; most of the population is concentrated in the cities of Nouakchott and Nouadhibou and along the Senegal River in the southern part of the country
largest country in Africa
Population distributionwith most of the country being a desert, vast areas of the country, particularly in the central, northern, and eastern areas, are without sizeable population clusters; half the population lives in or around the coastal capital of Nouakchott; smaller clusters are found near the southern border with Mali and Senegal
the vast majority of the populace is found in the extreme northern part of the country along the Mediterranean Coast

Demographics

MauritaniaAlgeria
Population3,677,293 (July 2016 est.)
40,263,711 (July 2016 est.)
Age structure0-14 years: 38.87% (male 717,790/female 711,694)
15-24 years: 19.86% (male 357,460/female 372,744)
25-54 years: 32.96% (male 561,341/female 650,580)
55-64 years: 4.61% (male 76,372/female 93,065)
65 years and over: 3.71% (male 57,814/female 78,433) (2016 est.)
0-14 years: 29.06% (male 5,991,164/female 5,709,616)
15-24 years: 15.95% (male 3,287,448/female 3,136,624)
25-54 years: 42.88% (male 8,737,944/female 8,526,137)
55-64 years: 6.61% (male 1,349,291/female 1,312,339)
65 years and over: 5.5% (male 1,027,126/female 1,186,022) (2016 est.)
Median agetotal: 20.3 years
male: 19.3 years
female: 21.2 years (2016 est.)
total: 27.8 years
male: 27.5 years
female: 28.1 years (2016 est.)
Population growth rate2.2% (2016 est.)
1.77% (2016 est.)
Birth rate30.9 births/1,000 population (2016 est.)
23 births/1,000 population (2016 est.)
Death rate8.1 deaths/1,000 population (2016 est.)
4.3 deaths/1,000 population (2016 est.)
Net migration rate-0.8 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2016 est.)
-0.9 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2016 est.)
Sex ratioat birth: 1.03 male(s)/female
0-14 years: 1.01 male(s)/female
15-24 years: 0.96 male(s)/female
25-54 years: 0.86 male(s)/female
55-64 years: 0.82 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.74 male(s)/female
total population: 0.93 male(s)/female (2016 est.)
at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
0-14 years: 1.05 male(s)/female
15-24 years: 1.05 male(s)/female
25-54 years: 1.02 male(s)/female
55-64 years: 1.03 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.86 male(s)/female
total population: 1.03 male(s)/female (2016 est.)
Infant mortality ratetotal: 53.3 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 58.1 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 48.2 deaths/1,000 live births (2016 est.)
total: 20.3 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 21.9 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 18.5 deaths/1,000 live births (2016 est.)
Life expectancy at birthtotal population: 63 years
male: 60.7 years
female: 65.4 years (2016 est.)
total population: 76.8 years
male: 75.5 years
female: 78.2 years (2016 est.)
Total fertility rate3.93 children born/woman (2016 est.)
2.74 children born/woman (2016 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate0.57% (2015 est.)
0.04% (2015 est.)
Nationalitynoun: Mauritanian(s)
adjective: Mauritanian
noun: Algerian(s)
adjective: Algerian
Ethnic groupsblack Moors (Haratines - Arab-speaking slaves, former slaves, and their descendants of African origin, enslaved by white Moors) 40%, white Moors (of Arab-Berber descent, known as Bidhan) 30%, Sub-Saharan Mauritanians (non-Arabic speaking, Halpulaar, Soninke, Wolof, and Bamara ethnic groups) 30%
Arab-Berber 99%, European less than 1%
note: although almost all Algerians are Berber in origin (not Arab), only a minority identify themselves as Berber, about 15% of the total population; these people live mostly in the mountainous region of Kabylie east of Algiers; the Berbers are also Muslim but identify with their Berber rather than Arab cultural heritage; Berbers have long agitated, sometimes violently, for autonomy; the government is unlikely to grant autonomy but has offered to begin sponsoring teaching Berber language in schools
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS13,700 (2015 est.)
8,800 (2015 est.)
ReligionsMuslim (official) 100%
Muslim (official; predominantly Sunni) 99%, other (includes Christian and Jewish) <1% (2012 est.)
HIV/AIDS - deaths1,000 (2015 est.)
100 (2015 est.)
LanguagesArabic (official and national), Pular, Soninke, Wolof (all national languages), French
note: the spoken Arabic in Mauritania differs considerably from the modern standard Arabic used for official written purposes or in the media; the Mauritanian dialect, which incorporates many Berber words, is referred to as Hassaniya
Arabic (official), French (lingua franca), Berber or Tamazight (official); dialects include Kabyle Berber (Taqbaylit), Shawiya Berber (Tacawit), Mzab Berber, Tuareg Berber (Tamahaq)
Literacydefinition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 52.1%
male: 62.6%
female: 41.6% (2015 est.)
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 80.2%
male: 87.2%
female: 73.1% (2015 est.)
School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education)total: 9 years
male: 9 years
female: 9 years (2015)
total: 14 years
male: 14 years
female: 15 years (2011)
Education expenditures2.9% of GDP (2013)
4.3% of GDP (2008)
Urbanizationurban population: 59.9% of total population (2015)
rate of urbanization: 3.54% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)
urban population: 70.7% of total population (2015)
rate of urbanization: 2.77% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)
Drinking water sourceimproved:
urban: 58.4% of population
rural: 57.1% of population
total: 57.9% of population
unimproved:
urban: 41.6% of population
rural: 42.9% of population
total: 42.1% of population (2015 est.)
improved:
urban: 84.3% of population
rural: 81.8% of population
total: 83.6% of population
unimproved:
urban: 15.7% of population
rural: 18.2% of population
total: 16.4% of population (2015 est.)
Sanitation facility accessimproved:
urban: 57.5% of population
rural: 13.8% of population
total: 40% of population
unimproved:
urban: 42.5% of population
rural: 86.2% of population
total: 60% of population (2015 est.)
improved:
urban: 89.8% of population
rural: 82.2% of population
total: 87.6% of population
unimproved:
urban: 10.2% of population
rural: 17.8% of population
total: 12.4% of population (2015 est.)
Major cities - populationNOUAKCHOTT (capital) 968,000 (2015)
ALGIERS (capital) 2.594 million; Oran 858,000 (2015)
Maternal mortality rate602 deaths/100,000 live births (2015 est.)
140 deaths/100,000 live births (2015 est.)
Children under the age of 5 years underweight19.5% (2012)
3% (2013)
Health expenditures3.8% of GDP (2014)
7.2% of GDP (2014)
Physicians density0.13 physicians/1,000 population (2009)
1.19 physicians/1,000 population (2007)
Obesity - adult prevalence rate8.6% (2014)
23.6% (2014)
Child labor - children ages 5-14total number: 127,251
percentage: 16% (2007 est.)
total number: 304,358
percentage: 5% (2006 est.)
Demographic profileWith a sustained total fertility rate of about 4 children per woman and almost 60% of the population under the age of 25, Mauritania’s population is likely to continue growing for the foreseeable future. Mauritania’s large youth cohort is vital to its development prospects, but available schooling does not adequately prepare students for the workplace. Girls continue to be underrepresented in the classroom, educational quality remains poor, and the dropout rate is high. The literacy rate is only about 50%, even though access to primary education has improved since the mid-2000s. Women’s restricted access to education and discriminatory laws maintain gender inequality – worsened by early and forced marriages and female genital cutting.
The denial of education to black Moors also helps to perpetuate slavery. Although Mauritania abolished slavery in 1981 (the last country in the world to do so) and made it a criminal offense in 2007, the millenniums-old practice persists largely because anti-slavery laws are rarely enforced and the custom is so ingrained. Up to 20% of Mauritania’s population is estimated to be enslaved, the highest rate worldwide.
Drought, poverty, and unemployment have driven outmigration from Mauritania since the 1970s. Early flows were directed toward other West African countries, including Senegal, Mali, Cote d’Ivoire, and Gambia. The 1989 Mauritania-Senegal conflict forced thousands of black Mauritanians to take refuge in Senegal and pushed labor migrants toward the Gulf, Libya, and Europe in the late 1980s and early 1990s. Mauritania has accepted migrants from neighboring countries to fill labor shortages since its independence in 1960 and more recently has received refugees escaping civil wars, including tens of thousands of Tuaregs who fled Mali in 2012.
Mauritania was an important transit point for sub-Saharan migrants moving illegally to North Africa and Europe. In the mid-2000s, as border patrols increased in the Strait of Gibraltar, security increased around Spain’s North African enclaves (Ceuta and Melilla), and Moroccan border controls intensified, illegal migration flows shifted from the Western Mediterranean to Spain’s Canary Islands. In 2006, departure points moved southward along the West African coast from Morocco and Western Sahara to Mauritania’s two key ports (Nouadhibou and the capital Nouakchott), and illegal migration to the Canaries peaked at almost 32,000. The numbers fell dramatically in the following years because of joint patrolling off the West African coast by Frontex (the EU’s border protection agency), Spain, Mauritania, and Senegal; the expansion of Spain’s border surveillance system; and the 2008 European economic downturn.
For the first two-thirds of the 20th century, Algeria’s high fertility rate caused its population to grow rapidly. However, about a decade after independence from France in 1962 the total fertility rate fell dramatically from 7 children per woman in the 1970s to about 2.4 in 2000, slowing Algeria’s population growth rate by the late 1980s. The lower fertility rate was mainly the result of women’s rising age at first marriage (virtually all Algerian children being born in wedlock) and to a lesser extent the wider use of contraceptives. Later marriages and a preference for smaller families are attributed to increases in women’s education and participation in the labor market; higher unemployment; and a shortage of housing forcing multiple generations to live together. The average woman’s age at first marriage increased from about 19 in the mid-1950s to 24 in the mid-1970s to 30.5 in the late 1990s.
Algeria’s fertility rate experienced an unexpected upturn in the early 2000s, as the average woman’s age at first marriage dropped slightly. The reversal in fertility could represent a temporary fluctuation in marriage age or, less likely, a decrease in the steady rate of contraceptive use.
Thousands of Algerian peasants – mainly Berber men from the Kabylia region – faced with land dispossession and economic hardship under French rule migrated temporarily to France to work in manufacturing and mining during the first half of the 20th century. This movement accelerated during World War I, when Algerians filled in for French factory workers or served as soldiers. In the years following independence, low-skilled Algerian workers and Algerians who had supported the French (harkis) emigrated en masse to France. Tighter French immigration rules and Algiers’ decision to cease managing labor migration to France in the 1970s limited legal emigration largely to family reunification.
Not until Algeria’s civil war in the 1990s did the country again experience substantial outmigration. Many Algerians legally entered Tunisia without visas claiming to be tourists and then stayed as workers. Other Algerians headed to Europe seeking asylum, although France imposed restrictions. Sub-Saharan African migrants came to Algeria after its civil war to work in agriculture and mining. In the 2000s, a wave of educated Algerians went abroad seeking skilled jobs in a wider range of destinations, increasing their presence in North America and Spain. At the same time, legal foreign workers principally from China and Egypt came to work in Algeria’s construction and oil sectors. Illegal migrants from sub-Saharan Africa, particularly Malians, Nigeriens, and Gambians, continue to come to Algeria in search of work or to use it as a stepping stone to Libya and Europe.
Since 1975, Algeria also has been the main recipient of Sahrawi refugees from the ongoing conflict in Western Sahara. An estimated 90,000 Sahrawis live in five refugee camps in southwestern Algeria near Tindouf.
Contraceptive prevalence rate11.4% (2011)
57.1% (2012/13)
Dependency ratiostotal dependency ratio: 76.1
youth dependency ratio: 70.5
elderly dependency ratio: 5.7
potential support ratio: 17.7 (2015 est.)
total dependency ratio: 52.6
youth dependency ratio: 43.6
elderly dependency ratio: 9.1
potential support ratio: 11 (2015 est.)

Government

MauritaniaAlgeria
Country nameconventional long form: Islamic Republic of Mauritania
conventional short form: Mauritania
local long form: Al Jumhuriyah al Islamiyah al Muritaniyah
local short form: Muritaniyah
etymology: named for the ancient kingdom of Mauretania (3rd century B.C. to 1st century A.D.), which existed further north in present-day Morocco; the name derives from the Mauri (Moors), the Berber-speaking peoples of northwest Africa
conventional long form: People's Democratic Republic of Algeria
conventional short form: Algeria
local long form: Al Jumhuriyah al Jaza'iriyah ad Dimuqratiyah ash Sha'biyah
local short form: Al Jaza'ir
etymology: the country name derives from the capital city of Algiers
Government typepresidential republic
presidential republic
Capitalname: Nouakchott
geographic coordinates: 18 04 N, 15 58 W
time difference: UTC 0 (5 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)
name: Algiers
geographic coordinates: 36 45 N, 3 03 E
time difference: UTC+1 (6 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)
Administrative divisions15 regions (wilayas, singular - wilaya); Adrar, Assaba, Brakna, Dakhlet Nouadhibou, Gorgol, Guidimaka, Hodh ech Chargui, Hodh El Gharbi, Inchiri, Nouakchott Nord, Nouakchott Ouest, Nouakchott Sud, Tagant, Tiris Zemmour, Trarza
48 provinces (wilayas, singular - wilaya); Adrar, Ain Defla, Ain Temouchent, Alger, Annaba, Batna, Bechar, Bejaia, Biskra, Blida, Bordj Bou Arreridj, Bouira, Boumerdes, Chlef, Constantine, Djelfa, El Bayadh, El Oued, El Tarf, Ghardaia, Guelma, Illizi, Jijel, Khenchela, Laghouat, Mascara, Medea, Mila, Mostaganem, M'Sila, Naama, Oran, Ouargla, Oum el Bouaghi, Relizane, Saida, Setif, Sidi Bel Abbes, Skikda, Souk Ahras, Tamanrasset, Tebessa, Tiaret, Tindouf, Tipaza, Tissemsilt, Tizi Ouzou, Tlemcen
Independence28 November 1960 (from France)
5 July 1962 (from France)
National holidayIndependence Day, 28 November (1960)
Revolution Day, 1 November (1954)
Constitutionprevious 1964; latest adopted 12 July 1991; amended 2004, 2006, 2012 (2016)
history: several previous; latest approved by referendum 23 February 1989
amendments: proposed by the president of the republic or through the president with the support of three-fourths of the members of both houses of Parliament in joint session; passage requires approval by both houses, approval by referendum, and promulgation by the president; the president can forego a referendum if the Constitutional Council determines the proposed amendment does not conflict with basic constitutional principles; articles including the republican form of government, the integrity and unity of the country, and fundamental citizens’ liberties and rights cannot be amended; amended several times, last in 2016 (2016)
Legal systemmixed legal system of Islamic and French civil law
mixed legal system of French civil law and Islamic law; judicial review of legislative acts in ad hoc Constitutional Council composed of various public officials including several Supreme Court justices
Suffrage18 years of age; universal
18 years of age; universal
Executive branchchief of state: President Mohamed Ould Abdel AZIZ (since 5 August 2009); note - AZIZ deposed President Sidi Ould Cheikh ABDELLAHI in a coup and installed himself as president in August 2008; he subsequently retired from the military, stepped down from the appropriated presidency in April 2009 to run for the legitimate presidency; he was elected president in July 2009 and reelected in June 2014
head of government: Prime Minister Yahya Ould HADEMINE (since 21 August 2014)
cabinet: Council of Ministers appointed by the president
elections/appointments: president directly elected by absolute majority popular vote in 2 rounds if needed for a 5-year term (eligible for a second term); election last held on 21 June 2014 (next to be held by 2019); prime minister appointed by the president
election results: Mohamed Ould Abdel AZIZ elected president; percent of vote - Mohamed Ould Abdel AZIZ (UPR) 81.9%, Biram Dah ABEID (independent) 8.7%, Boidiel Ould HOUMEIT (El Wiam) 4.5%, Ibrahima Moctar SARR (SJD/MR) 4.4%, other 0.5%
chief of state: President Abdelaziz BOUTEFLIKA (since 28 April 1999)
head of government: Prime Minister Abdel Madjid TEBBOUNE (since 25 May 2017)
cabinet: Cabinet of Ministers appointed by the president
elections/appointments: president directly elected by absolute majority popular vote in two rounds if needed for a 5-year term (2-term limit reinstated by constitutional amendment in February 2016); election last held on 17 April 2014 (next to be held in April 2019); prime minister nominated by the president from the majority party in Parliament
election results: Abdelaziz BOUTEFLIKA reelected president for a fourth term; percent of vote - Abdelaziz BOUTEFLIKA (FLN) 81.5%, Ali BENFLIS (FLN) 12.2%, Abdelaziz BELAID (Future Front) 3.4%, other 2.9%
Legislative branchdescription: bicameral Parliament or Barlamane consists of the Senate or Majlis al-Shuyukh (56 seats; 53 members indirectly elected by municipal leaders by simple majority vote and 3 directly elected by Mauritanians abroad; members serve a 6-year term with one-third of membership renewed every 2 years) and the National Assembly or Al Jamiya Al Wataniya (146 seats; 106 members directly elected in single- and two-seat constituencies by absolute majority vote in two rounds if needed and 40 directly elected in constituencies with three or more seats by proportional representation vote; members serve a 5-year term)
elections: Senate - last held on 23 November 2013 (next election scheduled for 2015 but delayed because of opposition party threats to boycott election); National Assembly - first round last held on 23 November and second round on 21 December 2013 (next to be held in 2018)
election results: Senate - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - NA; National Assembly - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - UPR 75, RNRD-TAWASSOUL 16, El Wiam 10, APP 7, El Karama Party 6, UDP 6, AJD/MR 4, Burst of Youth for the Nation 4, El Vadila Party 3, PRDR 3, PUD 3, Ravah Party 3, other 6; note - parties winning fewer than 3 seats sit as independents unless they join a coalition
description: bicameral Parliament consists of the Council of the Nation (upper house with 144 seats; one-third of members appointed by the president, two-thirds indirectly elected by simple majority vote by an electoral college composed of local council members; members serve 6-year terms with one-half of the membership renewed every 3 years) and the National People's Assembly (lower house with 462 seats including 8 seats for Algerians living abroad); members directly elected in multi-seat constituencies by proportional representation vote to serve 5-year terms)
elections: Council of the Nation - last held on 29 December 2015 (next to be held in December 2018); National People's Assembly - last held on 4 May 2017 (next to be held in 2022)
election results: Council of the Nation - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - NA; National People's Assembly - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - FLN 164, RND 97, MSP-FC 33, TAJ 19, Ennahda -FJD 15, FFS 14, El Mostakbel 14, MPA 13, PT 11, RCD 9, ANR 8, MEN 4, other 33, independent 28
Judicial branchhighest court(s): Supreme Court or Cour Supreme (subdivided into 1 criminal and 2 civil chambers, each with a president and 5 counselors); Constitutional Council (consists of 6 members)
judge selection and term of office: Supreme Court president appointed by the president of the republic to serve a 5-year renewable term; Constitutional Council members appointed - 3 by the president of the republic, 2 by the president of the National Assembly, and 1 by the president of the Senate; members serve single, 9-year terms with one-third of membership renewed every 3 years
subordinate courts: High Court of Justice (cases involving treason and criminal acts of high government officials, including the president); courts of appeal; wilaya (regional) courts (located at the headquarters of each of the 13 regions); commercial and labor courts; criminal courts; moughataa (district) courts; informal/customary courts
highest court(s): Supreme Court or Cour Supreme (consists of 150 judges organized into 4 divisions: civil and commercial; social security and labor; criminal; and administrative; Constitutional Council (consists of 12 members including the court chairman and deputy chairman); note - Algeria's judicial system does not include sharia courts
judge selection and term of office: Supreme Court judges appointed by the High Council of Magistracy, an administrative body presided over by the president of the republic, and includes the republic vice-president and several members; judges appointed for life; Constitutional Council members - 4 appointed by the president of the republic, 2 each by the 2 houses of Parliament, 2 by the Supreme Court, and 2 by the Council of State; Council president and members appointed for single 6-year terms with half the membership renewed every 3 years
subordinate courts: appellate or wilaya courts; first instance or daira tribunals
Political parties and leadersAlliance for Justice and Democracy/Movement for Renewal or AJD/MR [Ibrahima Moctar SARR]
Burst of Youth for the Nation [Lalla CHERIVA]
Coalition for Pacific Alternation or CAP (coalition of opposition parties, including APP, El Wiam)
Coalition of Majority Parties or CPM (including UPR, UDP)
Coordination of Democratic Opposition or COD [Ahmed Ould DADDAH] (coalition including RNRD-TAWASSOUL)
El Karama Party [Cheikhna Ould Mohamed Ould HAJBOU]
El Vadila Party [Ethmane Ould Ahmed ABOULMAALY]
El Wiam [Boidiel Ould HOUMEIT]
National Rally for Reform and Development or RNRD-TAWASSOUL [Mohamed Jamil Ould MANSOUR]
Party for Liberty, Equality and Justice [Ba ALASSANE]
Party of Unity and Development or PUD [Mohamed BARO]
Popular Progressive Alliance or APP [Messaoud Ould BOULKHEIR]
Ravah Party
Republican Party for Democracy and Renewal or PRDR [Sidi Mohamed Ould Mohamed VALL]
Union for Democracy and Progress or UDP [Naha Mint MOUKNASS]
Union for Progress [Mohamed Ould MAOULOUD]
Union for the Republic or UPR [Sidi Mohamed Ould MAHAM]
Algerian National Front or FNA [Moussa TOUATI]
Algerian Popular Movement or MPA [Amara BENYOUNES]
Algerian Rally or RA [Ali ZAGHDOUD]
Algeria's Hope Rally or TAJ [Amar GHOUL]
Dignity or El Karama [Mohamed BENHAMOU]
Ennour El Djazairi Party (Algerian Radiance Party) or PED [Badreddine BELBAZ]
Front for Change or FC [Abdelmadjid MENASRA]
Front for Justice and Development or El Adala [Abdallah DJABALLAH]
Future Front or El Mostakbel [Abdelaziz BELAID]
Green Algeria Alliance or AAV (includes Islah, Ennahda Movement, and MSP)
Islamic Renaissance Movement or Ennahda Movement [Mohamed DOUIBI]
Movement of National Understanding or MEN
Movement for National Reform or Islah [Djilali GHOUINI]
Movement of Society for Peace or MSP [Abderrazak MOKRI]
National Democratic Rally (Rassemblement National Democratique) or RND [Ahmed OUYAHIA]
National Front for Social Justice or FNJS [Khaled BOUNEDJEMA]
National Liberation Front or FLN [Djamel OULD ABBES]
National Party for Solidarity and Development or PNSD
National Reform Movement or Islah [Djahid YOUNSI]
National Republican Alliance or ANR [Redha MALEK]
New Dawn Party or PFJ
New Generation or Jil Jadid [Soufiane DJILALI]
Oath of 1954 or Ahd 54 [Ali Fawzi REBAINE]
Party of Justice and Liberty [Mohammed SAID]
Rally for Culture and Democracy or RCD [Mohcine BELABBAS]
Rally for Hope in Algeria or TAJ
Socialist Forces Front or FFS [Mustafa BOUCHACHI]
Union of Democratic and Social Forces or UFDS [Noureddine BAHBOUH]
Vanguard of Freedoms [Ali BENFLIS]
Youth Party or PJ [Hamana BOUCHARMA]
Workers Party or PT [Louisa HANOUNE]
note: a law banning political parties based on religion was enacted in March 1997
Political pressure groups and leadersAssociation of Women Heads of Family [Aminetou Mint El-MOCTAR]
General Confederation of Mauritanian Workers or CGTM [Abdallahi Ould MOHAMED, secretary general]
Independent Confederation of Mauritanian Workers or CLTM and El Hor [Samory Ould BEYE] (civil society organization)
Mauritanian Workers Union or UTM [Mohamed Ely Ould BRAHIM, secretary general]
SOS-Esclaves [Boubacar MESSAOUD] (anti-slavery group)
The Mauritanian Human Rights Association [Fatimata M'BAYE]
The National Forum for Democracy and Unity [Mohamed Jamil Ould MANSOUR]
The Resurgence of the Abolitionist Movement (IRA-Mauritania) [Biram Dah ABEID] (anti-slavery group)

other: Arab nationalists; Ba'athists; Islamists; Nasserists
Algerian League for the Defense of Human Rights or LADDH [Noureddine BENISSAD]
SOS Disparus [Nacera DUTOUR]
Youth Action Rally or RAJ
International organization participationABEDA, ACP, AfDB, AFESD, AMF, AMU, AU, CAEU (candidate), EITI (compliant country), FAO, G-77, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC (NGOs), ICRM, IDA, IDB, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO (pending member), ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO (correspondent), ITSO, ITU, ITUC (NGOs), LAS, MIGA, MIUSMA, NAM, OIC, OIF, OPCW, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO
ABEDA, AfDB, AFESD, AMF, AMU, AU, BIS, CAEU, CD, FAO, G-15, G-24, G-77, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC (national committees), ICRM, IDA, IDB, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, IMSO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO, ITSO, ITU, ITUC (NGOs), LAS, MIGA, MONUSCO, NAM, OAPEC, OAS (observer), OIC, OPCW, OPEC, OSCE (partner), UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNITAR, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO (observer)
Diplomatic representation in the USchief of mission: Ambassador Mohamedoun DADDAH (since 27 June 2016)
chancery: 2129 Leroy Place NW, Washington, DC 20008
telephone: [1] (202) 232-5700 through 5701
FAX: [1] (202) 319-2623
chief of mission: Ambassador Madjid BOUGUERRA (since 23 February 2015)
chancery: 2118 Kalorama Road NW, Washington, DC 20008
telephone: [1] (202) 265-2800
FAX: [1] (202) 986-5906
consulate(s) general: New York
Diplomatic representation from the USchief of mission: Ambassador Larry Edward ANDRE, Jr. (since 25 September 2014)
embassy: 288, rue 42-100 (rue Abdallaye), Nouakchott
mailing address: B.P. 222, Nouakchott
telephone: [222] 4525-2660 or [222] 2660-2663
FAX: [222] 4525-1592
chief of mission: Ambassador Joan A. POLASCHIK (since 22 September 2014)
embassy: 05 Chemin Cheikh Bachir, El Ibrahimi, El-Biar 16030 Algieria
mailing address: B. P. 408, Alger-Gare, 16030 Algiers
telephone: [213] (0) 770-08-2000
FAX: [213] (0) 770-08-2064
Flag descriptiongreen with a yellow five-pointed star above a yellow, horizontal crescent; the closed side of the crescent is down; the crescent, star, and color green are traditional symbols of Islam; green also represents hope for a bright future; the yellow color stands for the sands of the Sahara
two equal vertical bands of green (hoist side) and white; a red, five-pointed star within a red crescent centered over the two-color boundary; the colors represent Islam (green), purity and peace (white), and liberty (red); the crescent and star are also Islamic symbols, but the crescent is more closed than those of other Muslim countries because Algerians believe the long crescent horns bring happiness
National anthem"name: ""Hymne National de la Republique Islamique de Mauritanie"" (National Anthem of the Islamic Republic of Mauritania)
lyrics/music: Baba Ould CHEIKH/traditional, arranged by Tolia NIKIPROWETZKY
note: adopted 1960; the unique rhythm of the Mauritanian anthem makes it particularly challenging to sing
"
"name: ""Kassaman"" (We Pledge)
lyrics/music: Mufdi ZAKARIAH/Mohamed FAWZI
note: adopted 1962; ZAKARIAH wrote ""Kassaman"" as a poem while imprisoned in Algiers by French colonial forces
"
International law organization participationhas not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; non-party state to the ICCt
has not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; non-party state to the ICCt
National symbol(s)star and crescent; national colors: green, yellow
star and crescent, fennec fox; national colors: green, white, red
Citizenshipcitizenship by birth: no
citizenship by descent only: at least one parent must be a citizen of Mauritania
dual citizenship recognized: no
residency requirement for naturalization: 5 years
citizenship by birth: no
citizenship by descent only: the mother must be a citizen of Algeria
dual citizenship recognized: no
residency requirement for naturalization: 7 years

Economy

MauritaniaAlgeria
Economy - overviewMauritania's economy is dominated by extractive industries (oil and mines), fisheries and agriculture. Half the population still depends on farming and raising livestock, even though many nomads and subsistence farmers were forced into the cities by recurrent droughts in the 1970s, 1980s and 2000s. Recently, GDP growth has been driven largely by foreign investment in the mining and oil sectors.

Mauritania's extensive mineral resources include iron ore, gold, copper, gypsum, and phosphate rock, and exploration is ongoing for Tantalum, uranium, crude oil, and natural gas. Extractive commodities make up about three-quarters of Mauritania's total exports, subjecting the economy to price swings in world commodity markets. Mining is also a growing source of government revenue, rising from 13% to 30% of total revenue from 2006 to 2016. The nation's coastal waters are among the richest fishing areas in the world, and fishing accounts for about 20% of budget revenues, 45% of foreign currency earnings. Mauritania processes a total of 1,800,000 tons of fish per year, but overexploitation by foreign and national fleets threaten the sustainability of this key source of revenue.

The economy is highly sensitive to international food price and extractive commodity prices. Other risks to Mauritania's economy include its recurring droughts, dependence on foreign aid and investment, and insecurity in neighboring Mali, as well as significant shortages of infrastructure, institutional capacity, and human capital. Mauritania has sought additional IMF support by focusing efforts on poverty reduction. Investment in agriculture and infrastructure are the largest components of the country’s public expenditures.
Algeria's economy remains dominated by the state, a legacy of the country's socialist post-independence development model. In recent years the Algerian Government has halted the privatization of state-owned industries and imposed restrictions on imports and foreign involvement in its economy.

Hydrocarbons have long been the backbone of the economy, accounting for roughly 30% of GDP, 60% of budget revenues, and nearly 95% of export earnings. Algeria has the 10th-largest reserves of natural gas in the world and is the sixth-largest gas exporter. It ranks 16th in oil reserves. Hydrocarbon exports enabled Algeria to maintain macroeconomic stability and amass large foreign currency reserves while oil prices were high. In addition, Algeria's external debt is extremely low at about 2% of GDP. However, Algeria has struggled to develop non-hydrocarbon industries because of heavy regulation and an emphasis on state-driven growth. Declining oil prices since 2014 have reduced the government’s ability to use state-driven growth to distribute rents and fund generous public subsidies. Algeria’s foreign exchange reserves have declined by more than 40% since late 2013 and its oil stabilization fund has decreased from about $75 billion at the end of 2013 to about $7 billion in 2017, which is the statutory minimum.

Algiers has strengthened protectionist measures since 2015 to limit its import bill and encourage domestic production of non-oil and gas industries. Since 2015, the government has imposed additional regulatory requirements on access to foreign exchange for imports and import quotas for specific products, such as cars, to limit their importation. Meanwhile, Algeria has not increased non-hydrocarbon exports, and hydrocarbon exports have declined because of field depletion and increased domestic demand.

With declining revenues caused by falling oil prices, the government has been under pressure to reduce spending. A wave of economic protests in February and March 2011 prompted Algiers to offer more than $23 billion in public grants and retroactive salary and benefit increases, moves which continue to weigh on public finances. In 2016, the government increased taxes on electricity and fuel, resulting in a modest increase in gasoline prices, and in 2017 raised by 2% the value-added tax on nearly all products, but has refrained from directly reducing subsidies, particularly for education, healthcare, and housing programs.

Long-term economic challenges include diversifying the economy away from its reliance on hydrocarbon exports, bolstering the private sector, attracting foreign investment, and providing adequate jobs for younger Algerians.
GDP (purchasing power parity)$16.71 billion (2016 est.)
$16.19 billion (2015 est.)
$15.99 billion (2014 est.)
note: data are in 2016 dollars
$609.4 billion (2016 est.)
$588.4 billion (2015 est.)
$566.3 billion (2014 est.)
note: data are in 2016 dollars
GDP - real growth rate3.2% (2016 est.)
1.2% (2015 est.)
5.4% (2014 est.)
3.6% (2016 est.)
3.9% (2015 est.)
3.8% (2014 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP)$4,400 (2016 est.)
$4,400 (2015 est.)
$4,400 (2014 est.)
note: data are in 2016 dollars
$15,000 (2016 est.)
$14,700 (2015 est.)
$14,500 (2014 est.)
note: data are in 2016 dollars
GDP - composition by sectoragriculture: 24.1%
industry: 34.8%
services: 41.1% (2016 est.)
agriculture: 13.2%
industry: 38.4%
services: 48.4% (2016 est.)
Population below poverty line31% (2014 est.)
23% (2006 est.)
Household income or consumption by percentage sharelowest 10%: 2.5%
highest 10%: 29.5% (2000)
lowest 10%: 2.8%
highest 10%: 26.8% (1995)
Inflation rate (consumer prices)3.5% (2016 est.)
0.5% (2015 est.)
5.9% (2016 est.)
4.4% (2015 est.)
Labor force1.356 million (2016 est.)
11.78 million (2016 est.)
Labor force - by occupationagriculture: 50%
industry: 1.9%
services: 48.1% (2014 est.)
agriculture: 30.9%
industry: 30.9%
services: 58.4% (2011 est.) (2011 est.)
Unemployment rate12.8% (2016 est.)
31% (2014 est.)
9.9% (2016 est.)
11.2% (2015 est.)
Distribution of family income - Gini index37 (2014)
39 (2006 est.)
35.3 (1995)
Budgetrevenues: $1.143 billion
expenditures: $1.43 billion (2016 est.)
revenues: $42.69 billion
expenditures: $66.45 billion (2016 est.)
Industriesfish processing, oil production, mining (iron ore, gold, copper)
note: gypsum deposits have never been exploited
petroleum, natural gas, light industries, mining, electrical, petrochemical, food processing
Industrial production growth rate-1.2% (2016 est.)
0.5% (2016 est.)
Agriculture - productsdates, millet, sorghum, rice, corn; cattle, camel and sheep
wheat, barley, oats, grapes, olives, citrus, fruits; sheep, cattle
Exports$1.212 billion (2016 est.)
$1.385 billion (2015 est.)
$27.5 billion (2016 est.)
$33 billion (2015 est.)
Exports - commoditiesiron ore, fish and fish products, livestock, gold, copper, crude oil
petroleum, natural gas, and petroleum products 97% (2009 est.)
Exports - partnersChina 32.7%, Switzerland 11.1%, Spain 8.6%, Italy 6.7%, Cote dIvoire 6.6%, Japan 5.7% (2015)
Spain 17.4%, Italy 13.7%, France 12.3%, UK 7.2%, US 6.4%, Netherlands 6%, Turkey 5.2%, Brazil 4.5% (2015)
Imports$1.643 billion (2016 est.)
$1.93 billion (2015 est.)
$44.6 billion (2016 est.)
$50.7 billion (2015 est.)
Imports - commoditiesmachinery and equipment, petroleum products, capital goods, foodstuffs, consumer goods
capital goods, foodstuffs, consumer goods
Imports - partnersChina 27.8%, France 6.9%, Morocco 5.6%, Spain 5.2%, Brazil 4.9%, US 4.4% (2015)
China 15%, France 10.3%, Italy 8.8%, Spain 7.2%, Germany 6.2%, US 4.9% (2015)
Debt - external$3.585 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$3.415 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
$6.301 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$2.7 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
Exchange ratesouguiyas (MRO) per US dollar -
341.6 (2016 est.)
319.7 (2015 est.)
319.7 (2014 est.)
299.5 (2013 est.)
296.6 (2012 est.)
Algerian dinars (DZD) per US dollar -
110.1 (2016 est.)
100.691 (2015 est.)
100.691 (2014 est.)
80.579 (2013 est.)
77.54 (2012 est.)
Fiscal yearcalendar year
calendar year
Current Account Balance-$765 million (2016 est.)
-$956 million (2015 est.)
-$26.31 billion (2016 est.)
-$27.29 billion (2015 est.)
GDP (official exchange rate)$4.718 billion (2016 est.)
$168.3 billion (2016 est.)
Market value of publicly traded shares$NA
$NA
Central bank discount rate9% (31 December 2009)
12% (31 December 2007)
4% (31 December 2010)
4% (31 December 2009)
Commercial bank prime lending rate17% (31 December 2016 est.)
17% (31 December 2015 est.)
8% (31 December 2016 est.)
8% (31 December 2015 est.)
Stock of domestic credit$1.753 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$1.8 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
$100.1 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$61.78 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
Taxes and other revenues24.2% of GDP (2016 est.)
25.4% of GDP (2016 est.)
Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-)-6.1% of GDP (2016 est.)
-13.3% of GDP (2016 est.)
GDP - composition, by end usehousehold consumption: 72.5%
government consumption: 23.8%
investment in fixed capital: 47%
investment in inventories: -7.2%
exports of goods and services: 25.7%
imports of goods and services: -61.8% (2016 est.)
household consumption: 41.5%
government consumption: 22.1%
investment in fixed capital: 42.1%
investment in inventories: 6.6%
exports of goods and services: 25.1%
imports of goods and services: -37.4% (2016 est.)
Gross national saving22.2% of GDP (2016 est.)
18.8% of GDP (2015 est.)
25.2% of GDP (2014 est.)
32.8% of GDP (2016 est.)
34.9% of GDP (2015 est.)
43.4% of GDP (2014 est.)

Energy

MauritaniaAlgeria
Electricity - production800 million kWh (2014 est.)
60 billion kWh (2014 est.)
Electricity - consumption800 million kWh (2014 est.)
49 billion kWh (2014 est.)
Electricity - exports0 kWh (2013 est.)
900 million kWh (2014 est.)
Electricity - imports0 kWh (2013 est.)
700 million kWh (2014 est.)
Oil - production4,000 bbl/day (2016 est.)
1.37 million bbl/day (2015 est.)
Oil - imports0 bbl/day (2013 est.)
2,920 bbl/day (2013 est.)
Oil - exports11,250 bbl/day (2013 est.)
1.146 million bbl/day (2013 est.)
Oil - proved reserves20 million bbl (1 January 2016 est.)
12 billion bbl (1 January 2016 est.)
Natural gas - proved reserves28.32 billion cu m (1 January 2016 es)
4.504 trillion cu m (1 January 2016 es)
Natural gas - production0 cu m (2013 est.)
83.29 billion cu m (2014 est.)
Natural gas - consumption0 cu m (2013 est.)
37.5 billion cu m (2014 est.)
Natural gas - exports0 cu m (2013 est.)
40.8 billion cu m (2014 est.)
Natural gas - imports0 cu m (2013 est.)
0 cu m (2013 est.)
Electricity - installed generating capacity518,600 kW (2015 est.)
16 million kW (2014 est.)
Electricity - from fossil fuels66.9% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)
98% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)
Electricity - from hydroelectric plants33.1% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)
1.8% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)
Electricity - from nuclear fuels0% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)
0% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)
Electricity - from other renewable sources0% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)
0.2% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)
Refined petroleum products - production0 bbl/day (2013 est.)
505,900 bbl/day (2013 est.)
Refined petroleum products - consumption16,000 bbl/day (2014 est.)
430,000 bbl/day (2014 est.)
Refined petroleum products - exports0 bbl/day (2013 est.)
435,400 bbl/day (2013 est.)
Refined petroleum products - imports16,390 bbl/day (2013 est.)
108,800 bbl/day (2013 est.)
Carbon dioxide emissions from consumption of energy2.4 million Mt (2013 est.)
128 million Mt (2013 est.)
Electricity accesspopulation without electricity: 2,800,000
electrification - total population: 28%
electrification - urban areas: 47%
electrification - rural areas: 2% (2013)
population without electricity: 400,000
electrification - total population: 99%
electrification - urban areas: 100%
electrification - rural areas: 97% (2016)

Telecommunications

MauritaniaAlgeria
Telephones - main lines in usetotal subscriptions: 51,294
subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 1 (July 2015 est.)
total subscriptions: 3,267,592
subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 8 (July 2015 est.)
Telephones - mobile cellulartotal: 3.644 million
subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 101 (July 2015 est.)
total: 45.928 million
subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 116 (July 2015 est.)
Telephone systemgeneral assessment: limited system of cable and open-wire lines, minor microwave radio relay links, and radiotelephone communications stations; mobile-cellular services expanding rapidly
domestic: fixed-line teledensity 1 per 100 persons; mobile-cellular network coverage extends mainly to urban areas with a teledensity of roughly 100 per 100 persons; mostly cable and open-wire lines; a domestic satellite telecommunications system links Nouakchott with regional capitals
international: country code - 222; satellite earth stations - 3 (1 Intelsat - Atlantic Ocean, 2 Arabsat); fiber-optic and asymmetric digital subscriber line cables for Internet access (2015)
general assessment: privatization of Algeria's telecommunications sector began in 2000; three mobile cellular licenses have been issued and, in 2005, a consortium led by Egypt's Orascom Telecom won a 15-year license to build and operate a fixed-line network in Algeria
domestic: a limited network of fixed lines with a teledensity of less than 10 telephones per 100 persons has been offset by the rapid increase in mobile-cellular subscribership; in 2015, mobile-cellular teledensity was roughly 116 telephones per 100 persons
international: country code - 213; landing point for the SEA-ME-WE-4 fiber-optic submarine cable system that provides links to Europe, the Middle East, and Asia; microwave radio relay to Italy, France, Spain, Morocco, and Tunisia; coaxial cable to Morocco and Tunisia (2015)
Internet country code.mr
.dz
Internet userstotal: 547,000
percent of population: 15.2% (July 2015 est.)
total: 15.105 million
percent of population: 38.2% (July 2015 est.)
Broadcast media1 state-run TV (Television de Mauritanie) and one state-run radio network (Radio de Mauritanie); Television de Mauritanie has three channels, Al Mahadra station (for Islamic content) and Channels 1 and 2, which cover news, sports, and other programming; Radio de Mauritanie runs 12 regional stations, as well as a radio station for youth and the Holy Quran station; five private TV channels and five private radio stations also broadcast from Mauritania; six private international radio stations broadcast in Mauritania on the FM band; with satellite connections, Mauritanians also have access to hundreds of foreign TV channels (2013)
state-run Radio-Television Algerienne operates the broadcast media and carries programming in Arabic, Berber dialects, and French; use of satellite dishes is widespread, providing easy access to European and Arab satellite stations; state-run radio operates several national networks and roughly 40 regional radio stations (2009)

Transportation

MauritaniaAlgeria
Railwaystotal: 728 km
standard gauge: 728 km 1.435-m gauge (2014)
total: 3,973 km
standard gauge: 2,888 km 1.432-m gauge (283 km electrified)
narrow gauge: 1,085 km 1.055-m gauge (2014)
Roadwaystotal: 10,628 km
paved: 3,158 km
unpaved: 7,470 km (2010)
total: 113,655 km
paved: 87,605 km (includes 645 km of expressways)
unpaved: 26,050 km (2010)
Ports and terminalsmajor seaport(s): Nouadhibou, Nouakchott
major seaport(s): Algiers, Annaba, Arzew, Bejaia, Djendjene, Jijel, Mostaganem, Oran, Skikda
LNG terminal(s) (export): Arzew, Bethioua, Skikda
Airports30 (2013)
157 (2016)
Airports - with paved runwaystotal: 9
2,438 to 3,047 m: 5
1,524 to 2,437 m: 4 (2013)
total: 64
over 3,047 m: 12
2,438 to 3,047 m: 29
1,524 to 2,437 m: 17
914 to 1,523 m: 5
under 914 m: 1 (2013)
Airports - with unpaved runwaystotal: 21
2,438 to 3,047 m: 1
1,524 to 2,437 m: 10
914 to 1,523 m: 8
under 914 m: 2 (2013)
total: 93
2,438 to 3,047 m: 2
1,524 to 2,437 m: 18
914 to 1,523 m: 39
under 914 m: 34 (2013)

Military

MauritaniaAlgeria
Military branchesMauritanian Armed Forces: Army, Mauritanian Navy (Marine Mauritanienne; includes naval infantry), Islamic Republic of Mauritania Air Group (Groupement Aerienne Islamique de Mauritanie, GAIM) (2013)
People's National Army (Armee Nationale Populaire, ANP): Land Forces (Forces Terrestres, FT), Navy of the Republic of Algeria (Marine de la Republique Algerienne, MRA), Air Force (Al-Quwwat al-Jawwiya al-Jaza'eriya, QJJ), Territorial Air Defense Force (2016)
Military service age and obligation18 is the legal minimum age for voluntary military service; no conscription (2012)
17 is the legal minimum age for voluntary military service; 19-30 years of age for compulsory service; conscript service obligation is 18 months (6 months basic training, 12 months civil projects) (2012)
Military expenditures - percent of GDP2.67% of GDP (2014)
2.56% of GDP (2013)
2.72% of GDP (2012)
6% of GDP (2016)
6.24% of GDP (2015)
5.56% of GDP (2014)
4.96% of GDP (2013)
4.46% of GDP (2012)

Transnational Issues

MauritaniaAlgeria
Disputes - internationalMauritanian claims to Western Sahara remain dormant
Algeria and many other states reject Moroccan administration of Western Sahara; the Polisario Front, exiled in Algeria, represents the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic; Algeria's border with Morocco remains an irritant to bilateral relations, each nation accusing the other of harboring militants and arms smuggling; dormant disputes include Libyan claims of about 32,000 sq km still reflected on its maps of southeastern Algeria and the National Liberation Front's (FLN) assertions of a claim to Chirac Pastures in southeastern Morocco
Refugees and internally displaced personsrefugees (country of origin): 26,001 (Western Saharan - Sahrawis) (2016); 50,996 (Mali) (2017)
refugees (country of origin): 90,000 (Western Saharan Sahrawi, mostly living in Algerian-sponsored camps in the southwestern Algerian town of Tindouf) (2016)
Trafficking in personscurrent situation: Mauritania is a source and destination country for men, women, and children subjected to forced labor and sex trafficking; adults and children from traditional slave castes are subjected to slavery-related practices rooted in ancestral master-slave relationships; Mauritanian boy students called talibes are trafficked within the country by religious teachers for forced begging; Mauritanian girls, as well as girls from Mali, Senegal, The Gambia, and other West African countries, are forced into domestic servitude; Mauritanian women and girls are forced into prostitution domestically or transported to countries in the Middle East for the same purpose, sometimes through forced marriages
tier rating: Tier 3 - Mauritania does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking and is not making significant efforts to do so; anti-trafficking law enforcement efforts were negligible; one slavery case identified by an NGO was investigated, but no prosecutions or convictions were made, including among the 4,000 child labor cases NGOs referred to the police; the 2007 anti-slavery law remains ineffective because it requires slaves, most of whom are illiterate, to file their own legal complaint, and the government agency that can submit claims on them did not file any in 2014; authorities arrested, prosecuted, and convicted several anti-slavery activists; NGOs continued to provide the majority of protective services to trafficking victims without support from the government; some steps were taken to raise public awareness about human trafficking (2015)
current situation: Algeria is a transit and, to a lesser extent, a destination and source country for women subjected to forced labor and sex trafficking and, to a lesser extent, men subjected to forced labor; criminal networks, sometimes extending to sub-Saharan Africa and to Europe, are involved in human smuggling and trafficking in Algeria; sub-Saharan adults enter Algeria voluntarily but illegally, often with the aid of smugglers, for onward travel to Europe, but some of the women are forced into prostitution, domestic service, and begging; some sub-Saharan men, mostly from Mali, are forced into domestic servitude; some Algerian women and children are also forced into prostitution domestically
tier rating: Tier 3 – Algeria does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking and is not making significant efforts to do so: some officials denied the existence of human trafficking, hindering law enforcement efforts; the government reported its first conviction under its anti-trafficking law; one potential trafficking case was investigated in 2014, but no suspected offenders were arrested; no progress was made in identifying victims among vulnerable groups or referring them to NGO-run protection service, which left trafficking victims subject to arrest and detention; no anti-trafficking public awareness or educational campaigns were conducted (2015)

Source: CIA Factbook