Racial Tensions Continue
Although Mauritania officially abolished slavery in 1980, the nation continued to tolerate the enslavement of blacks by North African Arabs. In 1993, the U.S. State Department estimated that there were more than 90,000 chattel slaves in the country.
In 2002, the government banned a political party, Action for Change (AC), which has campaigned for greater rights for blacks, calling it racist and violent. Two other opposition parties have been banned in the past few years.