INDEPENDENCE OF MAURETANIA: MARCH, 1959 A.D.
The area that now is Mauretania formed part of the Maghreb province of the early Muslim Caliphate. The word 'Moor' is derived from Mauretania. The Moors are of Arab-Berber origion and are related to the Tuaregs of the Central Sahara, and traced back to the tenth century when .the Berber Lemtuna tribe was reorganised by Emir Yahya bin Ibrahim. Moors speak Arabic
The Portuguese were the first Europeans to arrive, attracted in the 15th century by the gum trade. They set up trading posts along the Senegal River. There was keen competition among European traders and the issue of control was resolved in 1815, when the Senegal area was given to France in the post-Napoleonic settlement between the European powers. In 19th century, the French explored the inland regions and signed treaties with Moorish chieftains. The French established the territory of Mauretania as an administrative unit in 1920 and later merged in the federation of eight French territories in West Africa. At the referendum of 28 September, 1958 Mauretania voted in favour of the Constitution of the Fifth French Republic, and as a result it became a self-governing member of the French Community. The Islamic Republic of Mauretania was established by a Constituent Assembly in March, 1959.