From wikipedia about Mauritania
Mauritania (i/mɔrɪˈteɪniə/; Arabic: موريتانيا Mūrītānyā; Wolof: Gànnaar; Soninke: Murutaane; Pulaar: Moritani; French: Mauritanie; Spanish: Mauritania
), officially the Islamic Republic of Mauritania
, is a country in the Maghreb and West Africa. It is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean in the west, by Western Sahara
in the north, by Algeria
in the northeast, by Mali
in the east and southeast, and by Senegal
in the southwest. It is named after the Roman province of Mauretania, even though the modern state covers a territory far to the southwest of the old province. 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 16 April 2009, General Aziz resigned from the military to run for president in the 19 July elections, which he won. In Mauritania
about 20% of the population live on less than US$ 1. 25 per day
At 397, 929 square miles (1, 030, 631 km2),  Mauritania
is the world's 29th-largest country (after Bolivia
). It is comparable in size to Egypt
. It lies mostly between latitudes 14° and 26°N, and longitudes 5° and 17°W (small areas are east of 5° and west of 17°).
Mauritania is generally flat, with vast arid plains broken by occasional ridges and cliff-like outcroppings. A series of scarps face south-west, longitudinally bisecting these plains in the center of the country. The scarps also separate a series of sandstone plateaus, the highest of which is the Adrar Plateau, reaching an elevation of 500 meters (1, 640 ft). Spring-fed oases lie at the foot of some of the scarps. Isolated peaks, often rich in minerals, rise above the plateaus; the smaller peaks are called guelbs and the larger ones kedias. The concentric Guelb er Richat (also known as the Richat Structure) is a prominent feature of the north-central region. Kediet ej Jill, near the city of Zouîrât, has an elevation of 1, 000 meters (3, 281 ft) and is the highest peak.
Bareina, a village in southwest Mauritania
Approximately three quarters of Mauritania
is desert or semidesert. As a result of extended, severe drought, the desert has been expanding since the mid-1960s. To the west, between the ocean and the plateaus, are alternating areas of clayey plains (regs) and sand dunes (ergs), some of which shift from place to place, gradually moved by high winds. The dunes generally increase in size and mobility toward the north.