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Basic Facts
Country name conventional long form: Islamic Republic of Mauritania
conventional short form: Mauritania
local long form: Al Jumhuriyah al Islamiyah al Muritaniyah
local short form: Muritaniyah
Gevernment typerepublic
Capital name: Nouakchott
geographic coordinates: 18 06 N, 15 57 W
time difference: UTC 0 (5 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)
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
Currencyouguiya (MRO)
Internet country code.mr
Ports and terminalsNouadhibou, Nouakchott
Agriculture productsdates, millet, sorghum, rice, corn; cattle, sheep
Industriesfish processing, mining of iron ore and gypsum
Geography
LocationNorthern Africa, bordering the North Atlantic Ocean, between Senegal and Western Sahara
Coordinates20 00 N, 12 00 W
ContinentAfrica
Area total: 1,030,700 sq km
land: 1,030,400 sq km
water: 300 sq km
Boundaries total: 5,074 km
border countries: Algeria 463 km, Mali 2,237 km, Senegal 813 km, Western Sahara 1,561 km
Coastline754 km
Climatedesert; constantly hot, dry, dusty
Terrainmostly barren, flat plains of the Sahara; some central hills
Natural resourcesiron ore, gypsum, copper, phosphate, diamonds, gold, oil, fish
Natural hazardshot, dry, dust/sand-laden sirocco wind blows primarily in March and April; periodic droughts
People
Population3,177,388 (July 2006 est.)
Ethnic groupsmixed Maur/black 40%, Moor 30%, black 30%
ReligionsMuslim 100%
LanguagesArabic (official), Pulaar, Soninke, French, Hassaniya, Wolof

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