Child Soldiers Global Report 2001 - Mauritania
|Publisher||Child Soldiers International|
|Cite as||Child Soldiers International, Child Soldiers Global Report 2001 - Mauritania, 2001, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/498805e22d.html [accessed 19 May 2013]|
|Disclaimer||This is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.|
ISLAMIC REPUBLIC OF MAURITANIA
Mainly covers the period June 1998 to April 2001 as well as including some earlier information.
– total: 2,598,000
– under-18s: 1,307,000
- Government armed forces:
– active: 15,650
– paramilitary (active): 5,000
- Compulsory recruitment age: 17 (unclear)
- Voluntary recruitment age: 18; 16 with consent (unclear)
- Voting age (government elections): 18
- Child soldiers: indicated
- CRC-OP-CAC: not signed
- Other treaties ratified: CRC; GC
- There are indications of under-18s in government armed forces given that recruitment is possible from the age of 16. However, numbers of such recruits are not known.
There are still tensions in the country following the conflict with Senegal in 1989 when ethnic pogroms took place in both countries. Furthermore, the ultimate resolution of the conflict in the Western Sahara will inevitably have consequences for Mauritania.1198
National Recruitment Legislation and Practice
Article 18(1) of the 1991 Constitution states that: "Every citizen has the duty of protecting and safeguarding the independence of the country, its sovereignty, and the integrity of its territory."1199 The 1962 Law on Recruitment of the Army (Law no. 132/62 of 29 June 1962) provides for two-year compulsory service. According to this law, every citizen who has reached the age of 17 must be registered, and following a medical examination a Council (Conseil de révision) must deliberate each case. The age of actual recruitment is not expressly mentioned, but is believed to be 17.1200
Official sources claim recruitment into the armed forces is actually on a voluntary basis and the minimum age of recruitment is 18.1201 But according to Article 7 of the above-mentioned law, Mauritanian citizens who have reached the age of 16 may enlist voluntarily with the consent of parents or a tutor, or through authorisation by the Minister of Defence. There is no available information on how recruitment is currently carried out.
1198 Balencie and de la Grange op. cit.
1199 Constitutions of the World, http://www.charter88.org.uk/politics/links/link_cons_af.html; Horeman and Stolwijk op. cit.
1200 Brett and McCallin, op. cit.
1201 Telephone conversation between CSC and the office of the military attaché at the Embassy of the Islamic Republic of Mauritania in Paris, France, 10 February 1999.