Jihadi violence in Mauritania has peaked and appears to have been contained through a mix of coercion and co-option. Yet the government’s triumphalism should be treated with care; Mauritania remains mired in corruption and poverty.
The current trend in U.S. and European governments to pay less attention to human rights issues in Arab countries did not develop overnight, and is unlikely to disappear quickly, as it is connected to local, regional, and global trends.
It has long been an axiom among the rulers of each Maghrebi country to brandish their rhetorical commitment to regional integration while often-shamelessly suffocating the principles and prospects of unity.
Boukhars is a nonresident fellow in Carnegie’s Middle East Program. He is a professor of countering violent extremism and counter-terrorism at the Africa Center for Strategic Studies, National Defense University.