Mauritania dispatched its top diplomat to neighbouring Mali to counter media reports that it was backing Malian rebels fighting for independence in the desert north. The Mauritanian foreign minister expressed his country's support for Mali's authorities. His visit came as rebel fighters arrived within 135 km (80 miles) of Timbuktu, the capital of one of three northern regions they want to annex to create a new state on the edge of the Sahara.

Thousands of members of the Democratic Opposition Coordinatioon (COD) in Mauritania, grouping 12 opposition political parties, mounted a massive demonstration here Monday 12 March, to press for an end to military rule. They also denounced 'the increasingly difficult and harsh living conditions, the exclusion of some tribes in the country and the inability of the government to manage a crisis-ridden Mauritania.'

On the 23 May 2011, 14 men were abducted from their cells by military police at the central prison in Nouakchott, the capital city of Mauritania. All of them were convicted on charges related to terrorism and at least six of the men were tortured while in police custody before their abduction. None of them have been seen or heard from since; no one but their captors knows if they are dead or alive. If they are alive, there are major concerns for their safety.

The Arabic Network of Human Rights Information has condemned the Mauritanian authorities for their inexplicable detention of Wan Biran, activist and coordinator Do Not Touch My Nationality movement, on 4 February as he was visiting his brother in the National Hospital. Do No Touch My Nationality is a movement that rejects racism and demands full equality between citizens. The movement also rejects the exclusion of colored people from the administrative statistics now done by the authorities more

Thousands of Touareg refugees fleeing clashes in northern Mali entered Mauritania in recent days, escaping the fighting between the Malian army and Touareg rebels from the National Movement for the Liberation of Azaouad (MNLA). 'Since January 28th, a lot of Touareg refugees have moved in here. Most of them have arrived on vehicles,' said Sheikh Ould Ahmed, a teacher in the border town of Fassala.