Source: Human Rights Watch
Long before “ethnic cleansing” entered popular parlance, its effects were painfully apparent in Mauritania. Since 1989, tens of thousands of black Mauritanians have been forcibly expelled, and hundreds more have been tortured or killed; an undeclared military occupation of the Senegal River Valley, where many of the blacks live, subjects those who remained to harsh repression. The campaign to eliminate black culture in Mauritania, orchestrated by the white Moor rulers, reached its height in the late 1980s and early 1990s, and continues today. The Mauritanian authorities flatly deny these human rights violations, and they continue to block efforts to seek accountability for past abuses. Part of the government’s strategy has been to deny access to Mauritania by international observers; Human Rights Watch/Africa, for example, has been denied permission to conduct a human rights investigation in Mauritania, despite repeated requests since the fall of 1989.
Read on HRW website..