Road from Nouakchott to the Mauritanian–Senegalese border. *Photo from Wikipedia
November 28 is Independence Day, which celebrates the independence of Mauritania from France in 1960.
Berber immigration took place from about the 3rd century. Mauritania takes its name from the ancient Berber kingdom and later Roman province of Mauretania, and thus ultimately from the Mauri people, even though the respective territories do not overlap, historical Mauritania being considerably further north than modern Mauritania.
The Muslim conquest of the Maghreb in the 7th and 8th centuries did not reach as far south, and Islam came to Mauritania only gradually, from about the 11th century, in the context of the wider Islamization of the Sudan and medieval Arab slave trade.
The European colonial powers of the 19th century had little interest in Mauritania. The French Republic was mostly interested in the territory for strategic reason, as a connection between their possessions in North and in West Africa. Mauritania thus became part of French West Africa in 1904, but colonial control was mostly limited to the coast and the Saharan trade routes, and there were territories nominally within French West Africa which were not reached by European control as late as 1955. In 1960, the Republic of Mauritania became independent of France.
The conflict over the former Spanish territory of Western Sahara in 1976 resulted in partial annexation by Mauritania, withdrawn in favor of Morocco in 1979.
Mauritania, officially the Islamic Republic of Mauritania, is a country in the Maghreb region of western North Africa. It is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean to the west, Morocco and the remnants of Western Sahara in the north, Algeria in the northeast, Mali in the east and southeast, and Senegal in the southwest.