The Bafours were the original inhabitants of Mauritania. They were overcome by the migration of Berber tribes, who were in turn dominated by Arabs. French colonizers prohibited slavery and brought an end to interclan warfare. There are conflicting visions of Mauritania as either an Arab or sub-Saharan country.
Sorrowful Mysteries: Intentions for Mauritania
1. That the young democracy may not relapse into autocratic rule
2. That the nation be shielded from the threat posed by Al Qaeda
3. That government may succeed in ending slavery
4. That ethnic groups may come to peaceful coexistence
5. That government effectively control the activities of foreigners in the rich fishing areas.