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.
The Mali Empire or Manding Empire or Manden Kurufa (ߡߊ߲߬ߘߋ߲߬ ߞߙߎߝߓߊ) was a West African empire of the Mandinka from c. 1230 to c. 1600. The empire was founded by Sundiata Keita and became renowned for the wealth of its rulers, especially MansaMusa I. The Mali Empire had many profound cultural influences on West Africa, allowing the spread of its language, laws and customs along the Niger River. The Mali empire extended over a large area and consisted of numerous vassal kingdoms and provinces.
The Mali Empire grew out of an area referred to by its contemporary inhabitants as Manden. Manden, named for its inhabitants the Mandinka (initially Manden’ka with “ka” meaning people of), comprised most of present-day northern Guinea and southern Mali. The empire was originally established as a federation of Mandinka tribes called the Manden Kurufa (literally Manden Federation), but it later became an empire ruling millions of people from nearly every ethnic group in West Africa.
Born in the town of Atar (Adrar Region), Ould Taya attended a Franco-Arabic Primary School from 1949 to 1955. He then attended Rosso High School in southern Mauritania. After graduation, he attended a French military school in 1960 and graduated as an officer. In 1975, he received strategic training at the French War Academy. In 1978 the Mauritanian army seized power and ousted President Moktar Ould Daddah, in an attempt to forestall government collapse in the war over Western Sahara against the Polisario Front (1975-79). Ould Taya was among the conspirators, and quickly gained influence within the government. (Read more...)