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Francophone Africa at fifty$
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Tony Chafer and Alexander Keese

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780719089305

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: May 2019

DOI: 10.7228/manchester/9780719089305.001.0001

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Transfer of military power in Mauritania: from Ecouvillon to Lamantin (1958–1978)1

Transfer of military power in Mauritania: from Ecouvillon to Lamantin (1958–1978)1

(p.90) 6 Transfer of military power in Mauritania: from Ecouvillon to Lamantin (1958–1978)1
Francophone Africa at fifty

Camille Evrard

Manchester University Press

Camille Evrard discusses the transfer of military power in Mauritania during a long process of decolonization (between 1956 and 1977). Her approach links the history of institutions and politics, defined through state and system, with the perspectives held by individuals, notably by former military officers who served in the Sahara. The Mauritanian example, where French troops were over two decades actively engaged in counter-insurgency at the service of and in partnership with the Mauritanian government, is particularly instructive for an interpretation of the direct consequences of military decolonization. Evrard’s interpretation offers a scenario that had implications for actors on both sides, Mauritanian and French. On the one hand, French officials had to interact with local issues, and entered into what may be described as an experimental process of reorganizing their presence on the ground. On the other hand, they contributed to the Mauritanian vision of their own independence, to the ‘national identity’ of Mauritania, and to Mauritanian relations with neighbouring Morocco.

Keywords:   Mauritania, decolonization, military, France, Morocco

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