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Mauritania - Directorate of the Navy
Marine Nationale Mauritanienne

The Navy Department's mission is to ensure national sovereignty within the maritime areas of the Islamic Republic of Mauritania under national and international laws, participate in national development through monitoring and control of wealth (fisheries) and perform humanitarian operations (rescue). The Naval Training Center is responsible for basic training and providing the technical specialties for its operation. There is one battalion of Marines whose mission is to protect coastal sea and river.

Marines Mauritanie operates from two bases - one in the capital Nouakchott and another in the coastal town of Nouadhibou. By 2015 it had about 650 seamen including a naval infantry division.

The National Navy is an important part of the National Army. It operates in the regional waters of the country which are the natural borders (750 Km in the Atlantic Ocean and 720Km in the river bank). This wide area is the real combat field for the National Navy, which is in charge of the absolute protection from all the external targetings, criminal infiltration that hurts the public security, the security of costal facilities and external trade.

The National Navy has the right to be proud of the significant progress its fleet has witnessed to do its tasks; supervision, chase and holding. As the results of the modern technologies it has, the National Navy keeps an eye on the national waters. These digital technologies enabled the navy to uncover the infiltration of any foreign ship by determining their position accuratly on the national water map.This is the result of the proficiency of the Center of the Maritime Operations which operates on the operational supervision through the unities that work in the maritime areas on which the control of Mauritanian state is. It gathers intelligence information in this area.

This system enabled monitoring all the ships that enter the national regional waters. It also facilitated encountering, with rigor, the international wanted ships and chasing them by very well trained groups that have very fast means. For that reason, a number of ships and steamers were acquired by the navy. They played very important role in modernising the National Maritime Fleet. So this is a typical step the National Navy has taken forward. That developement covered all the means and materials of the Navy. All that, was to cope with the security needs and the progress of the threats that no longer confined on the ground.

In June 2014 the Mauritanian Navy announced a five-year naval force development plan to tighten its maritime boundaries and conduct effective patrols within the 235 000 square kilometre Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ). The plan included the acquisition of two 60 meter offshore patrol vessels (OPVs) and an undisclosed number of mid-sized vessels to secure the country's 754km long Atlantic Ocean coastline.

On 13 March 2017 Greenpeace presented the results of research on fishing practices along the West African coast to the Mauritanian Minister of Fisheries & Maritime Economy, the Minister of Environment & Sustainable Development and the Minister of Equipment & Transport. After witnessing several irregularities involving local and foreign fishing vessels Greenpeace is calling for a powerful and effective regional fisheries management body in the region.

Pavel Klinckhamers, Greenpeace project leader said: The wild west situation in West African waters is alarming and reconfirms the need for urgent action. From what we have seen at sea, fishing capacity is still a big issue, and there is a huge lack of knowledge about how much fish is available. The only way to stop this ruthless overexploitation is for governments to take responsibility and start cooperating around managing their resources wisely.

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, FAO, earmarked the waters six years ago as having the highest rate of overfishing. More than half of the fish stocks in the region are being overexploited. If this is allowed to continue, food security for millions of African people is at stake.

The Navy is always wherever there is natural disaster, disorder and an ask for help. Its work includes assisting and rescuing. It was established January 25th, 1966. That was by the decision N12360 and completing decisions ( the Ministrial Decree 001/ O.D.O of 09/04/1986 and order N 005/A.O/M.D in 06/04/1988). The National Navy takes care of the permanent missions to defend the national sovereignty; the economy, public service.

The mission include the following:

  1. Sovereignty; the National Navy, alongside with the other parts of the Army, defends the regional waters and the costs.
  2. The economy; in terms of the economy, the National Navy imposes all the rules the Mauritanian State adopts in the domains of Fishing , Navigation and Anti pollution. It protects the environement from the factors which impact negatively the economic activities.
  3. The public Service; in its influence zone, the Navy imposes the Mauritanian rules and regularities weither they relate to the public security or conducting the assistance and rescuing operations in the sea.

The role the National Navy plays in the public service to comes to the conclusion that the Navy personnel are not only soldiers but administrative, social and healthcare servants who spend them in training. That comes from the brave men who keep an eye on the places where no one can be patient to live in or even capable to get to. That includes the different units ships, marines and the training centers as well as the workshops to fix ships.

Since its founding January 1987 by the decision N 244/Ministry of Defence, the Navy Base has been assisting the community inside its operational areas which start from Nwamgar to NDiago in the south. It does operate also nationwide in case of natural disasters and floodings as well as other domains. In terms of health, the Navy participates in providing first aids and evacuating the patients through two medical points in Nwamgar and Ndiago. It is involving in executing the seasonal and medical campaigns of the Minisrty of Health and Social Affairs besides supervising the epidemics and sensitization against them.

The communication centers in NDiago and Nwamgar were the channels through the local population and the civil administration communicate before there was any mobile telephone. Currently, this service still ongoing. That is in addition to provide the communication with fishermen boats and their crews which break and to evacuate them to the closest safe center.

Since twenty years ago, the tanks of the Central Base in Nouakchott have been the only supplier that provides water for the all costal villages from Nwamgar to Nouakchott until the governemental institutions successed recently in playing that role. The base is ready to do what-so-ever to bring things to the norms.

In case of natural disaster, floodings or there is a need for that, the base conducts rescuing missions as all the units of the National Army do. The responsible detachements are in charge of:

  • Transporting the affected population to a safer place.
  • Rescuing the public and private property
  • Transporting the medical crews as well as those of administration and security to the besieged areas.
  • Encouraging the effecting people by proving the service and assistance they need.

The population of the State of Trarza have seen examples of that in the year 2004 and 2002, and did so Tentan in the year 2007 and the district of Bouguer in the region of Brakna during the same rainfall season.

Currently the base has two detachements; the first one is in NDiago and the other one is in Nwamgar. The head of each one of them is a captain who holds the Navy hat as military chief. He is administratively attached to the Interior Ministry. So he executes the oders of the regiobal administration and using for that the equipment of the Navy has under control.

By the security and monitoring patrols as well as the coordination with the operating units, the base provides the necessary services for the victims of the natural disasters and the accidents of the boats and commercial ships.

Limam Elhadrami (P60) Limam Elhadrami (P60) Limam Elhadrami (P60) Limam Elhadrami (P60)

Fusiliers Marins (FUMA)

The National Navy created ground forces units capable to ensure the security of costs and to conduct operation in the sea and on the ground which was in the past impossible. They use for that, fast steamers and cross-desert cars. This expansion is enough to bring to an end the smuggling and the illegal exchange which used to take place on these long costs.

The government also planned to establishd three new Fusiliers Marins marine forces companies.

After nearly a month in Mauritania, a team of Marines with Special-Purpose Marine Air-Ground Task Force Africa 14.1 completed its latest theater security cooperation mission, 21 March 2014. The group was in Mauritania to train and advise their counterparts, the Fusiliers Marins (FUMA), on basic infantry skills, marksmanship, patrolling skills, first aid and combat lifesaving skills, small boat operations and mission planning for leadership. Started in 2011, SP-MAGTF Africa is a rotational deployment of Marines and sailors for theater security cooperation in various African countries. The task force is currently staffed Marines and sailors from 3rd Battalion, 8th Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division, permanently based out of Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, NC.

At the end of their mission, the two groups joined together on the Mauritanian military base for a closing ceremony. The commander and executive officer in charge of the base and the TSC officer in charge all spoke at the ceremony. The Marines handed out awards to the top four shooters they instructed and gave the class diplomas for graduating their course.

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