Mauritania

Maaouya Ould Sid Ahmed Taya seized power in a coup in 1984 and ruled Mauritania with a heavy hand for more than two decades. A series of presidential elections that he held were widely seen as flawed. A bloodless coup in August 2005 deposed President Taya and ushered in a military council that oversaw a transition to democratic rule. Independent candidate Sidi Ould Cheikh Abdallahi was inaugurated in April 2007 as Mauritania's first freely and fairly elected president. His term ended prematurely in August 2008 when a military junta led by General Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz deposed him and installed a military council government. Aziz was subsequently elected president in July 2009 and sworn in the following month. The country continues to experience ethnic tensions among its black population (Afro-Mauritanians) and white and black Moor (Arab-Berber) communities, and is having to confront a growing terrorism threat by al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM).

Muslim World Initiative

Building trust and dialogue between political, social and religious leaders

This initiative, which drew to a close in 2009, was designed to help to mobilize moderates, marginalize militants, and bridge the U.S./Muslim-world divide.

Topics: 

Preventing Electoral Violence in Africa: Tools for Policymakers

This course will be offered again in the Fall of 2014

Stemming electoral violence in transition and fragile environments requires understanding the broader landscape of the conflict and how that conflict is managed. With important elections in Africa on the horizon in 2014 and 2015, this course will examine specific examples from cases across Africa in order to analyze how electoral violence was prevented or mitigated through effective strategic planning and policymaking.

"The popular U.S. Institute of Peace course on preventing violence seems to find the right balance between theoretical underpinnings and practical application."— It All Starts with Training

The cases will include Nigeria, Uganda, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and Kenya, countries whose stability is important not only to their regions but also to the international community and to U.S. foreign policy goals.

Type of Event or Course: 

Western Sahara: The Failure of "Negotiations without Preconditions"

The ongoing effort to use negotiations without preconditions to resolve the conflict between Morocco and the Polisario Front over Western Sahara has not produced results. The April 6, 2010 report of the United Nations secretary-general to the U.N. Security Council admits that there has been no movement on the core substantive issues.

Summary

  • The ongoing effort to use negotiations without preconditions to resolve the conflict between Morocco and the Polisario Front over Western Sahara has not produced results. The April 6, 2010 report of the United Nations secretary-general to the U.N. Security Council admits that there has been no movement on the core substantive issues.
  • The informal talks between the government of Morocco and the Polisario Front organized by Christopher Ross, current personal envoy to the U.N. secretary-general, from February 10-11, 2010, resulted at an impasse.
Anna Theofilopoulou
Fri, 04/23/2010 - 18:04
Type of Article: 

U.S.Relations with the Muslim World

Wed, 04/28/2010 - 08:00
Wed, 04/28/2010 - 18:30
Public Event

USIP, CSID, George Mason and ISESCO co-hosted this day-long conference examining America's relations with the Muslim world one year after President Obama's Cairo speech. 

Preliminary Program

8:00 a.m. - 8:30 a.m. Registration
8:30 a.m. - 9:00 a.m. Welcoming Remarks

  • Peter Mandaville
    Chair, Program Committee
  • Radwan Masmoudi
    CSID President

9:00 a.m. - 10:30 a.m. Panel 1: Plenary Session Roundtable: Perspectives on Muslim Engagement featuring Farah Pandith

  • Peter Mandaville, Chair
    George Mason University
  • Farah Pandith
    Special Representative to Muslim Communities, U.S. Department of State
  • Marc Lynch, respondent
    George Washington University
  • Emile Nakhleh, respondent
    Independent scholar
  • Brian Katulis, respondent
    The Center for American Progress
  • Daniel Brumberg, Respondent
    U.S. Institute of Peace

10:30 a.m. - 11:00 a.m. Coffee Break

11:00 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. Parallel Session 1: Muslim Perceptions & Public Opinion

  • Abiodun Williams, Chair
    Vice President, Conflict Prevention and Analysis, U.S. Institute of Peace
  • “Views of the U.S. in Post-Jihadist Thought”
    Omar Ashour, University of Exeter
  • “Muslim publics' views of the U.S.”
    Steven Kull, Worldpublicopinion.org
  • “A Nigerian Perspective on the Cairo Speech”
    Chloe Berwind-Dart, Cherish Foundation
  • “New Approaches to Public Diplomacy in the Muslim World”
    Kristin Lord, Center for a New American Security

11:00 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. Parallel Session 2: Islam, Human Rights, and Development

  • Mona Yacoubian, Chair
    U.S. Institute of Peace
  • “The Obama Administration and Islamic Human Rights”
    Satoshi Ikeuchi, University of Tokyo
  • “Arab Youth Development in U.S.-Muslim Engagement”
    Oliver Wilcox & Chris Carneal, U.S. Agency for International Development, Middle East Bureau
  • “Political Islam and U.S. Foreign Policy in the Obama Era”
    Halim Rane, Griffith University
  • “Constructing Political Islam as the New Other”
    Corinna Mullin, School of Oriental & African Studies

12:30 p.m. - 2:00 p.m. Keynote Luncheon: Prospects for Improved Relations and Understanding Between the U.S. and the Muslim World

  • Congressman Keith Ellison (D-MN)
  • Tariq Ramadan
    Oxford University
  • Reza Aslan
    University of California, Riverside

2:00 p.m. - 3:30 p.m. Plenary Session Amphitheater: Dialogue with Political Islamists

  • Daniel Brumberg, Moderator
    United States Institute of Peace
  • Mustapha Khalfi
    Justice & Development Party, Morocco
  • Zineddine Tebbal,
    Movement for the Society of Peace, Algeria
  • Salah Ali Abdulrahman
    Islah Movement, Bahrain
  • Quinn Mecham, Respondent
    Professor, Middlebury College
    Professor, George Washington University
    Franklin Fellow, Policy Planning, U.S. Department of State

3:30 p.m. - 4:00 p.m. Coffee Break

4:00 p.m. - 5:30 p.m. Parallel Session 3: Voices from the Middle East

  • Emad El-Din Shahin, Chair
    University of Notre Dame
  • “Civil Society Organizations as Actors of Change in the MENA Region: Potentialities and Challenges”
    Nabila Hamza, Foundation for the Future, Amman, Jordan
  • “The U.S. Image among Arab’s New Generation: Finding and Recommendations from Experimental Research”
    Moataz A. Fattah, Cairo University & Central Michigan University
  • “Back to the Spirit of the Cairo Speech: From Marshall Plan to Obama Plan”
    Alaya Allani, University of Tunis
  • "Taliban’s Islamic State, Obama’s Olive Branch and Democracy in the Muslim World: An Examination of Governance in Contemporary Pakistan"
    Abdullah Al-Ahsan, International Islamic University, Malaysia

4:00 p.m. - 5:30 p.m. Parallel Session 4: Democracy & Democracy Promotion

  • Asma Afsaruddin, Chair
    Indiana University
  • “Evaluating Obama’s Contributions to Iran’s Democratic Opposition”
    Laila Taraghi, University of Arkansas
  • “The Role of the U.S. in Encouraging Pro-Democracy Movements”
    Stephen Zunes, University of San Francisco
  • “Applying Sustainable Democracy Promotion to the Muslim World”
    Eric Patterson, Berkley Center for Religion, Peace & World Affairs
  • "Challenges to Integrating Democracy Promotion in U.S. Policy in Afghanistan and Pakistan"
    Brian Katulis, The Center for American Progress

5:30 p.m. - 6:30 p.m. Concluding Keynote: Building Bridges of Understanding Between America and Muslim Majority States

  • Rashad Hussain
    U. S. Special Envoy to the Organization of the Islamic Conference

 

This USIP co-sponsored event examined U.S. relations with the Muslim world one year after President Obama's pivotal speech at Cairo University.  Speakers included Oxford professor Tariq Ramadan, Special Representative to Muslim Communities Farah Pandith, and U. S.  Special Envoy to the Organization of the Islamic Conference Rashad Hussain.  USIP specialists Abiodun Williams, Daniel Brumberg and Mona Yacoubian also participated in the event.

 

Ronald Reagan Building Amphitheater
1300 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20004

Muslim World Initiative logoCSID logoGeorge Mason University logoISESCO logo

Type of Event or Course: 

The United Nations and Western Sahara: A Never-ending Affair

The United Nations' efforts to resolve the dispute over Western Sahara—with James Baker serving as mediator—is examined to develop lessons learned on international conflict mediation.

Anna Theofilopoulou

Summary

  • This study examines the efforts of the United Nations (UN) to resolve the dispute over Western Sahara from August 1988, when Secretary-general Perez de Cuellar submitted the settlement proposals to the two parties—the Kingdom of Morocco and the Polisario—until June 2004, when James A. Baker III, the secretary-general's personal envoy on Western Sahara, resigned.
Sat, 07/01/2006 - 09:00
Type of Article: 

Western Sahara: Renewed Hope to End the Stalemate?

Thu, 09/20/2007 - 10:00
Thu, 09/20/2007 - 12:00
Public Event

U.S. Institute of Peace
1st Floor Conference Room
1200 17th St, NW
Washington, DC 20036
Directions

"The participants included representatives from the embassies of Morocco, Algeria, the Polisario, and other NGOs that work actively on the conflict."
-- Dorina Bekoe

Type of Event or Course: 

Learn More

Classroom Courses

Instructor:
Debra Liang-Fenton, Linda Bishai, Dorina Bekoe, Jacqueline H. Wilson

This course will be offered again in the Fall of 2014

Stemming electoral violence in transition and fragile environments requires understanding the broader landscape of the conflict and how that conflict is managed. With important elections in Africa on the horizon in 2014 and 2015, this course will examine specific examples from cases across Africa in order to analyze how electoral violence was prevented or mitigated through effective strategic planning and policymaking.

"The popular U.S.

Publications

By:
USIP Staff
This initiative, which drew to a close in 2009, was designed to help to mobilize moderates, marginalize militants, and bridge the U.S./Muslim-world divide.
The ongoing effort to use negotiations without preconditions to resolve the conflict between Morocco and the Polisario Front over Western Sahara has not produced results. The April 6, 2010 report of the United Nations secretary-general to the U.N. Security Council admits that there has been no movement on the core substantive issues.