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The Mauritanian approach to combat violent extremism and maintain security is a unique model in its style and effectiveness, at the theoretical, legislative or practical levels.
In this regard, Mauritania has established a legal arsenal that criminalizes and punishes terrorism and related acts,in particular:
- Law No. 047/2005 on combating terrorism, then the amended Law No. 048/2005 containing money laundering and terrorist financing, Law No. 035/2010, which repeals and replaces the above law and Law 021/2010 on the smuggling of illegal migrants. Then Decree No. 260/2011 issued on 24 June 2011 establishing the pole specialized in terrorism cases.
In addition to the signing of several conventions in the field of combating terrorism, such as the 1999 African Convention and the 2000Arab Convention.
By enacting these legal texts and by signing these agreements, Mauritania envisages laying down the legal and legislative bases necessary to act vigorously to combat this abhorrent phenomenon.
At the security level, the national armies and the security forces were equipped, which contributed to raising the level of readiness. In this regard, special units were established to intervene in the field of terrorism, special points were also established to cross the national border;the Air Force was strengthened by acquiring new military aircraft and thesame happened in the Navy field.
The Mauritanian army was able to maintain security and tranquility and secure the border from the brutality of terrorist groups. These terrorist groups were confronted in their own homes, which was a strong message and a decision of which the effectiveness and wisdom was positively reflected on the security process of the national approach to counter terrorism. The national armies started participating strongly and actively in peace-keeping operations in many countries of the world. This experience has been praised by United Nations bodies, which have commended on more than one occasion the professionalism and effectiveness of the Mauritanian forces participating in peacekeeping operations in some African countries.
The Mauritanian approach also included the adoption of several strategies in this area, including direct dialogue with prisoners accused of being involved in terrorist acts. Thus, the state designated a group of faqihs (jurisprudents) and opinion leaders to achieve this goal.These efforts persuaded a large group of prisoners to abandonthe extremist ideology and as a resultthey were integrated into public life.
This experience, which was a great success and was widely praised, has revealed that many young people were tempted.
This process was accompanied by the strengthening of the cultural, economic and social system. The approach was not confined to these dimensions, but other areas were included, in particular the orientation of the media content to introduce the centrist Islam away from extremism and fanaticism.
The Mauritanian approach has succeeded at the international and regional levels. In this respect, the President of the Republic, Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz, has led a regional initiative through the establishment of the G-5 Sahel, which seek to create development and stability by attracting investments and building projects that give priority to security, combating transnational crime, strengthening infrastructure,education and health and combating the effects of drought.