By Mohamed Said Hamody
The first part of this presentation deals with the issue of manuscripts references: Who? By who? What? How? Where? So many questions that finally determine the identity of our subject: the manuscript. The second part is an attempt to establish the “traceability” (to use a fashionable neologism, albeit in a completely different domain) “African” manuscripts “, Africa considered both inside and outside our West African sub region.
– Part I: Reference Aspects.
Who? One of the French dictionaries “Le Petit Larousse” defines the manuscripts as follows: “A book written by hand”. In Francophone – and Anglophone Africa- Sub of the Sahara, “Ancient manuscripts” were naturally known with the Islamization of the region. When a local Arabic speaking elite emerged, Arabic was then used as a language of communication and Arabic culture and its alphabet were also used to transcribe some of the Sudanese languages.
By who? The African manuscript in question is generally an original hand written book or a copy (true to the original or approved or commented by an exegete) of a work of a writer of “Dar el Islam”, different from his African cribber Sub of the Sahara. The manuscript is sometimes written by an African South of the Sahara. These two categories of manuscripts i.e translations and publications can be equated to the written or oral memory of West Africa by Europeans, past and contemporary, and some of their African employees.
What? The topics of these manuscripts, and degrees of interest, depend of their areas of origin and of their authors.
– For example manuscripts by Sudanese writers deal generally with the “Figh” or Islamic law (in its Maliki or Sunni reading) or liturgical teachings. But their interests are undoubtedly local events chronicles, biographies of temporal or spiritual Chiefs and notables, “Rihal” or pilgrimages (often to Jerusalem, Madina and Mecca), and summary presentations of science as exercised locally (medical, pharmacopoeia, astrology, astronomy handbooks etc.)
– Manuscripts received (by chance with travelers or in the course of miscellaneous transactions) from what was then the rest of the Muslim world. Generally, they comprises copies or exegesis of the Koran, collections of traditions (“hadiths” or “Sunnah” of the Prophet Muhammad, PBUH), the “Figh” and treatises of secular sciences (medicine, geography, astrology, poetic letters and other metrics, astrology, mathematics etc.)
How? The overwhelming majority of sub-Saharan manuscripts are in Arabic. However, some are in local Sudanese languages: Bambara, Dioula, Soninké, Sonhray, Wolof even if they recourse to the Arabic alphabet, the Pular and Hausa in particular; some others are in Tamashek language.
Where? The manuscripts belong, to peoples from West Africa (individuals or collectivies) or to legal entities (Country government, brotherhood congregations, institutions etc.).
– These collections are most of the time, the property of some families, and thus are well kept in back rooms, turned occasional into “libraries” of the whole clan or tribe if so we may call trunks, rudimentary cabinets and rooms’ corners used as “safe boxes” for what is considered as family or clan’s treasures. Some of the manuscripts are better preserved by public institutions (especially the ones inherited from the former territorial branches of the Institut Fondamental d’Afrique Noire– the French colonial Fundamental Institute of Black Africa.). Or in some rare cases they are owned privately by individuals or public libraries, universities, high schools or “Mahadrah.”
– Other manuscripts take the colonial ruler routes or emigration; more recently, some are acquired by third persons, through legal or illegal takeover and contribute to enrich libraries in Western Europe and the United States; some again are in North Africa, the Middle East, Japan etc.
– Part Two: Geographical location.
a) Outside Africa, the bulk of the manuscripts of Francophone sub-Saharan Africa are in West Europe : France (coming first with 518 “Arabic manuscripts” according to the inventory of the National Library of Paris, 223 pieces of Gironcourt Fund, the Institut de France), Great Britain (British Museum and Oxford Library etc.), United States (different university libraries including Harvard, Chicago etc.), the Vatican Library, several Spanish university libraries (Barcelona Salamanca, Escorial etc.), Portugal (Torre de Tombre), Germany (Tübingen).
b) Another portion of the Sudanese expatriates manuscripts is in the Arab world: Egypt (including some manuscripts from Mali and the current “Fund Mohamed Mahmoud Ould Tlamid Torkzi Chinghitti” also called Chin Chin); at the National Library of Algiers (including “Ben Hamoud Fund” of Timbuktu manuscripts), in the General Library of Morocco in Rabat ( where manuscripts of the “Archinard Fund” from Mali are registered on a catalogue) and the Library of the Faculty of Arts and Humanities of the University of King Mohammed V in Rabat which includes several collections: a monograph of funds and other manuscripts on the history of Bilad Chenghett (the Moorish countries).
c) Manuscripts still in Africa in sub-Saharan Anglophone Africa are to be found in Ghana (1 to 2000 manuscripts listed on catalogues by the Institute of African Studies, University of Ghana). One to two thousand units are well kept in this country out of the five to ten thousands African manuscripts in the country, as estimated by Mr. Vincent Monteil in 1965.
Nigeria, is vested with many conservation and operational institutions. Apart from the manuscripts inherited from the colonial time, this country still has thousands of manuscripts (books on all topics and important archival records in history) in its institutes, centers and libraries in Ibadan, Ife, Kaduna, Kano, Lagos, Sokoto, etc. and in private libraries owned by rich Muslim families, heirs of famous Hausa – Fulani and Yoruba clans of the North and West of Nigeria.
d) But to come back to the topic of our meeting, let’s note that four countries in Francophone Africa, South of the Sahara enjoy a particular favorable position as they hold almost all the manuscripts of former French West Africa. These countries are: Niger, Senegal, Mali and Mauritania. These countries, considered as Islamic lands for centuries have always relied and still rely, on generations of scholars who have high knowledge of the Islamic religion and Arabic. This background explains how impressive their legacy, their particular passion as archivists or writers is. We will review with you as follows, the rich manuscripts of these above mentioned countries.
– Niger. The seat of the ancient territorial assemblies and later National Assembly, hosts the bulk of the country’s public collection. Since 1935, Mr. Boubou Hama, who later presided over the Nigerian National Assembly has collected about 1500 (one thousand and five hundred) manuscripts. The oldest piece of this collection, found with a family of Arab origin in Tahoua, is entitled: A treatise on astrology: the “Kitab al-Anwar” (Book of Light), by a certain Ahmed Babe Alibas. This library also contains amongst others a copy in Fulani of the famous “Kitab” (the Book) of Usman Dan Fodio and also manuscripts in Hausa, scientific works of scholars and marabouts of Nigeria and manuscripts written in Adjani, the Fulani of Burkina Fasso as well.
Another rare piece of the Fund discovered in Tahoua by the Nigerian National Assembly former speaker, Boubou Hama is a voluminous manuscript, a compilation of diplomatic correspondences, a huge book of 546 pages with comments by the Moorish scholar, Cheikh Sidi al Mokhtar al Kounti. The book deals with an abundant diplomatic mails between the Kunta tribes’ chiefs of Niger and the Azawad tribes men of the Saharan region; but also other tribes of Mauritania, Western Sahara, southern Morocco and southwest Algeria.
This collection contains the original of a very interesting monograph on the origins and development of the important tribal confederation of the R’gaybatt moorish clan. In addition to this Fund of important wealth, there are two other centers in Niamey that host important manuscripts in Arabic, Hausa, Fulani, Djerma, etc. They are: the National Center for Research and humanities (the former IFAN center of Niamey created in the forties and which published, amongst other documents, “Nigerian Studies”) and the center of Arab and foreign manuscripts created in 1962. To date, this Center is credited to accommodate as many as 3600 documents, including publications on various topics as: texts and sciences of the Qur’an, traditions of the prophet (“hadiths” and “sira”), chronicles, monographs, biographies, letters “fiqh” medicine “Rihal” (travel diaries) etc.
– Mali. Mohamed Hassan Al Wazzan, known by Christians by his captive name “Leo the Africanus”, after his journey in territories that later became with independence Mali and Mauritania, wrote in 1550 in his book entitled «Description of Africa”: In Timbuktu, business in book trade … is far more lucrative than that of any other commodity …
Another notable scholar was Ahmed Baba. “Born six years later, precisely in Timbuktu “the Mufti “and multidisciplinary scholar, Ahmed Baba wrote in his book: “Al Kifayat Mouhtâj “: In my family, I am the one with the fewest books. They robbed me of 1600 units. “By Jove! And the others?
John Hunswick, the leading expert on West African manuscripts who managed in the sixties the “Documentation Centre of Arabic (CAD) within the institute of African Studies (IAS) of the University of Ibadan in Nigeria and current member of the “department of history of the Northwestern University” in Illinois, wrote recently: “The Niger Bend is to West Africa what the Nile is to Egypt valley; an ecological treasure and a civilizational magnet”.
So true and rightly said! The region has experienced a flourishing intellectual Islam through its empires (Mali, Songhay, Macina, Torodo etc.), its cities (Djené, Gao Hamadalaye, Nioro, Timbuktu, Ségou etc.) The current Mali or Western Sudan(the “Bilad es-Sudan”) is home to a plethora of “faghih”, “Ulema”, “Alama” emeritus Kadis (Ahmed Baba of Timbuktu, Kadi Mahmud bin Umar of Timbuktu, Abderrahmane Es-Saadi, Mahmoud Kati etc. just to name few amongst hundreds of genius thinkers.) So many reasons justify the amazed statements of researchers about the diverse manuscripts of the Republic of Mali, as by their large number, their importance, they are concrete testimonies of the history of West Africa and its relations with the western Maghreb.
As to their number, it is too difficult to venture in the statistics and propose an accurate assessment of the total number of these manuscripts. So, to be on the safe side, let us rather rely on the figures proposed by UNESCO which considers that the treasures of Timbuktu region amount to 60,000 (sixty thousand) units. This figure is however reviewed down to 40,000 (forty thousand) by Mohamed Dicko Gallah, the director general of the “Institute for Advanced Studies and Islamic Research Ahmed Baba” (which will be discussed below) and this is presumably, only three quarters of all the Malian manuscripts.
Books written by local writers are considered to be the smallest part, but their account of the past memory of the region gives an ever increasing interest of their intellectual worth. However, these documents are naturally different according to their size and historical interest. Some of the writings are published in one or many sequential volumes, when it comes to crucial events: for instance, books by Al Kati, Ahmed Baba, Es-Saadi or the chronicles of the Macina Dina, the Fulani people etc. Documents comprising one, two or three layers only, record generally simple contracts between sellers and buyers of different products like: gold, iron, cowries, tobacco, ostrich feathers, salt, fabrics, livestock grains, but also land deeds, sales manuscripts and even slaves. These manuscripts on Trade, however shed light on the trans-Saharan trade of the Middle Ages, and also the commercial and cultural activities in the early 20 th century between Morocco and Timbuktu.
Like other countries of the region, in Mali there are many medium and small size manuscript libraries owned by families. Let us for instance mention the one owned by the Kel es Souk Bougbea (northeast of) Timbuktu. This family has 600 Arabic manuscripts. Dozens of similar unrecorded familial libraries are likely to be found in the neighboring villages and nomadic camps of the Azawad area.
Still in Mali, in addition to large collections, there are three other secondary centers in Gao; Kayes and Ségou, totaling 9,000 manuscripts. Let us recall to the curious mind this anecdote: that a hundred of manuscripts were seized from the library of Cheikh Hamahoullah Ould Seydina Oumar by the colonial administration after the arrest of this spiritual leader. They were handed back to Mali after the country’s independence. The manuscripts are now in the Brotherhood’s library in Nioro. This small library has a few hundreds of manuscripts pieces written and acquired only in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.
– Senegal: More than half of the estimated manuscripts of Senegal (10,000 their total number? one never knows) are under the custody of the former IFAN, l’Institut Fondamental d’Afrique Noire, presently called “The Fundamental Institute of Africa – Cheikh Anta Diop (IFAN-CAD).
The rest of the collections are private properties of Arabic scholars, family heritages, especially in areas like the Senegal valley and the Waloo, or in libraries under the control of brotherhoods groups or Islamic cultural associations.
The IFAN-CAD is fortunate to have four outstanding funds in his department dedicated to “Manuscripts” founded since 1965, and which are:
a) The Brévié Fund;
b) The Figaret Fund;
c) The Fund Viellard:
d) The Kamara Fund
In analyzing the contents of these “Funds”, in the third part of this presentation, we can have an exact idea of their great historical importance. The Senegalese contribution in “unearthing” valuable documents and remarkable efforts by researchers of Asian history in the French colonial administration in Senegal, the translation and printing of so rare pieces give a central position to this country in the study of African manuscripts. To name some of the Senegalese scholars, Yoro Diaw comes on top of these writers with his “Cahiers”, Amadou Wade with his “Gesture”, Siré Abass Sow for his manuscript and Cheikh Moussa Kamara for his abundant and incomparable production. Some famous French scholars like Faidherbe, Binger, Gaden, Delafosse, Houdas Clozel are known figures of African history one can never forget. And to this still uncompleted list, the IFAN team has to be mentioned with: Mauny, Charles and Vincent Monteil… all of whom have their particular place.
– Mauritania: “… The nomadic tribes that once travelled across the Mauritanian desert were not only wealthy merchants, but included also curious minds, scholars and high literate peoples who have left important writings which covers all areas of human knowledge. It was the world of “the University of the Sands”, the nomadic university of peoples, travelling on camels backs … “as described by a surprised Italian, Laura Alunno, the cultural attaché of an NGO called “Africa 70,” when she discovered in the desert tens of thousands strange manuscripts and the” Mahadrah “the nomadic universities of the African desert, equipped with their teaching materials.
There are about 300 libraries owned by families, clans and tribes in Mauritania. Most of these manuscripts are the property of individuals or communities of the Moorish and Puular tribes. Some Soninke and Wolof tribes too, have their own manuscripts.
The Mauritanian Institute for Scientific Research (created in 1974 has collected or bought) about 7,000 manuscripts. Another public institution, the Scientific Institute of Islamic Research and Studies (ISERI) has bought, nearly 4,000 pieces. The remaining 80,000 to 90,000 pieces are seriously at risk as they are abandoned to the whims of weather, insects; the unsecure handling of their users, piracy and oblivion!!!, even if they are said to be in private libraries or anything that can be termed so…. Apart from Nouakchott, the capital city and the aforementioned two public centers, cities that are home to private libraries are the four caravan famous cities and the capital cities of some “Wilaya” or “Moughata’a”, just to mention those who have cultural important value.
However, few rural and nomadic settlements stand out as exceptions, as we shall see below. For example, in Chinguetti and Ouadane, cities declared as World’s heritage by UNESCO. So, the only private library (and there are 34 similar others) of the Habott family contains nearly 1,500 manuscripts some of which are unique in the whole of the “Dar al-Islam.”
The Mauritanian manuscripts production is another peculiarity of this country; three quarters of the total writings are the works of Mauritanians. These manuscripts written locally are: anthologies in classical Arabic or Mauritanian spoken Arabic (” the Hassaniya”). They comprises «nawazel,” “fatwa,” chronicles, science treatises and local traditional techniques, tribal monographs, biographies, “Rihal,” correspondences, Cadis judgments, wills, etc. There also exist thousands of archival manuscripts that relate solely to commercial and banking: loans recognitions; acts of sales, service contracts.
– Third Party Content
1.1 Senegal. This section of the Senegalese collections concerns the actual manuscripts and “other writings” considered as so.
a) “Manuscripts” considered as so or assimilated. They include books written, compiled and translated by Europeans, but also manuscripts on oral traditions in Sudanese languages (Fulani or Wolof).
1) Historical manuscripts.
– “Tarikh” Dara on Zagawa (4 pages manuscript Ifan 8);
– Auto-biography (64 pages mss.1 );
– Exhortations of believers for “jihad” (36 sheets mss 95);
– Writings on Moorish and Fulani traditional leaders of the Fouta 1937 (183 sheets, mss.5 mss.6 and 134 sheets);
– The life of El Hadj Oumar 1935 (97 sheets, mss.9); translated from Arabic by Professor Amar Samb and published in three successive issues of the Bulletin of the Fundamental Institute of Black Africa (Volume XXXII of January, Volume XXXIII of April Volume and XXXIV of July);
– History of the Yalalbés (105 sheets mss. 7 and 50 sheets mss.11);
– History of the Fouta Toro in 1921 (867 sheets, mss.2 and3).
2) Religious Manuscripts (8 manuscripts); *
3) Manuscripts on legal matters (4 mss. Including one on the legality of the moderate use of tobacco (“el raf’i el hazji”).
4) Scientific Scrolls on medicine as in use in the Fulani, Bambara and Toucouleur’s tribes
5) literary manuscripts (4mss.).
– Grammar- and comments on the “Alfiya» of Ibn Malek;
– Exegesis of the “Mou’alaghatt”;
– Books on metric and prosodic sciences;
– A comment on a work by Suyuti.
A Torodo scholar, Ckeikh Moussa Kamara (1864-1945), also friend and disciple of Sheik Saad Bouh Sheikh, a protégé of the French governor in Mauritania, M. Henri Gaden, “wrote in the 1920s, a book on the history of the black peoples; the Al-Zuhur basātīn fi Ta’rikh al-Sawâdin (“Anthology in the garden of black peoples’ history”). It is a series of chronicles of the kingdoms of Sokoto, Mali, Macina, the Wagadou the Mandé, Ségou, Kaarta the Khasso the Gajaga, the Guidimaka, and Hayré.
Volume I of this monumental work, dedicated to the Futa Toro, was published under the supervision of Mr. Jean Schmitz by CNRS Editions in Paris in 1998.
Cheikh Moussa Kamara with this titanic book, wrought his name among the best chroniclers of “Mali” and “Mauritanians.” As biographer Cheikh Moussa Kamara is for the south people of Mauritania what Sid Ahmed Ould el Emine el Alawi, in the early last century, was for the north of this country. The diversity of his writings and his universal knowledge, remind us of another Mauritanian, who died a few years ago, the encyclopedic Mokhtar Ould Hamidoun.
The names of Mahmoud Kati, Ahmed Baba and Es-Saadi Abderahmane are symbols, recalling to our minds their great works and the past and present of these manuscripts.
a) Mahmoud Kati is the author of the “Tarikh el Fettach” or chronic researcher who unearthed and kept good record of historic events in western Sudan in the Middle Ages. 3,000 manuscripts are recorded including originals of his handwritings and books by Askia Mohamed, initially owned by Ismail Diadié Haidara, a Malian historian, but which, since September 27, 2000, has become part of the “Kati Fund”.
In a biographical note “Tedzkirett al Ikhwan (brothers recall), El Kati introduced himself, revealed his family in Spain “… my name is Ben Mahmoud Al billahi Ziyyad quouti al al al Andaloussi Wakari”. Indeed, the Banu-l-qûti (Ka’ti) left Toledo in May of the year 1468. Ziyyad Ben Ali, the father of Mahmoud Kati, settled immediately at Goumbou in Soninke land. He got married in 1470, with a Soninke woman of the name of Sylla, Mahmoud’s mother. Later, the Mahmoud Kati family contracted marriages with Portuguese “renegades” in 1591 and later with Sephardic merchants in Fez in 1766.
b) The Ahmed Baba Center. He gave his name to the “Ahmed Baba Centre” of Timbuktu, created in 1970 with the assistance of UNESCO, by the Malian government. Inaugurated in 1973, it has become recently the “Institut des Hautes Etudes et de Recherches Islamiques” (Institute for High Education and Islamic Researches). The institute has collected more than 15,000 manuscripts which are now protected. To date, in regard of the number of units under its custody, this institution is the largest specialized agency. In addition to the documents from the Muslim East, the Institute contains most of the memory of West Africa, precisely: the Tuareg and Moorish, Hausa, Poular, Sonrai, Soninke and Mandingo worlds. All the manuscripts are written in Arabic alphabet, though they are transcripts of Sudanese languages, Fulani and Songhai in particular. Since May 1997 there is, alongside the Institute, a cultural and scientific association called the “Club Ahmed Baba.” Its purpose is to “build bridges between generations, between cultures, between past and present, French and Arabic speakers, scholars and others …
Ahmed Baba is the ” Son of an exegete of the “MEDH” from the family of Mohamed Aghit, He was born in Timbuktu in October 26, 1556 (Some other historians say he was rather born at Arawan city in 1553.) When Timbuktu was invaded in 1591 by Moroccan troops, he was deported in this country in 1593. He was only released in 1995 but banned from entering Sudan his country. He undertook to make a “fatwa” but refuses to exercise the official functions of “mufti”. In his imposed exile in Morocco, he wrote half of his 58 books. He finally was authorized to return in his native country, Sudan in 1601 where he died April 22, 1621.
C) Abderahmane es-Saadi. He was born in May 28, 1596) in Timbuktu. He completed his “Tarikh al-Sudan” in 1655 and is believed to have died shortly after. But unlike his predecessors, this great chronicler seems not to have left a library after him.
1.3 Mauritania. It is not an easy task to establish a list of Mauritanian ancient manuscripts. A significant list of books that count will suffice. This country manuscripts continue however to fuel traditional knowledge in colleges, institutes and modern faculties, but also in the “University of the Desert”, the famous “Mahadrah”. These symbols-books are the delight of all Mauritanian bibliophiles. Highly regarded, they are carefully preserved, treasured as “jewels” in personal trunks or part of families’ manuscripts hided away from any coveting eye.
a) History of facts and ideas.
– The oldest is the “Ew siyasse ichara fi tedbiri el el imara” (policy or guidance for the conduct of the emirate). Its writer, Ebi Bakr ibn Al Hassen Al Mouradi Al Hadrami, is the famous El Imam al Hadrami, a respected adviser of the Almoravide Chief, Azougui who died in 489 AH. The excellent manuscript, Treatise on the Machiavellianism before Machiavelli was published in Arabic in Morocco in 1981.
Another writer from southwestern Mauritania, the “guebla”, is Sheikh Mohamed al Yedaly 1096 H / H 1685-1166 / 1753.). He wrote three treatises that shed light on the history of this important emirate, the Trarza, bordering Senegal. Their titles “Chiyem Zewaya” (Character of men of letters or marabouts), “Wali Amr al Nasser ed-din” (the virtues of Nasser al-Din (It is the account of the defeated party in a fratricidal war story that lasted thirty years), “Rissalet en-nashiya” (Epistle of critical advisory body of the Moorish society of the XVIII century of the Christian era. The manuscript published in 1911 by the “Editions Leroux” under the title “Chronicles of Senegal Mauritania”, translated into French with comments, notes by Ismail Hamet. The book was republished in I990, by Professor Ould Babah Mohameden with notes and presentation.
– Quite all the country round, everywhere in mosques, close or distant events were recorded more or less regularly; these chronicles played a significant role in recording the history of Mauritania and neighboring countries. Among them, those of the cities of Nema and Oualata, which were annotated and translated by Paul Marty and the ones from Tichitt were annotated and translated by Vincent Monteil, all the three published by the Journal of Islamic Studies.
– Mauritanian manuscripts contain hundreds of tribal monographs and many biographical books of “Ayan” (Political celebrities, spiritual leaders and intellectuals). The most notable biographical collection is the “Fath Choukour fi tarjameti Oudebaa Tekrur” of Mohamed ibn el Benani el Bertely of Oualata (deceased in 1805) which presents the biographies of more than 200 people who had lived between 1650 and 1800.
– Mauritania libraries contain hundreds of books narrating the ups and downs of devoted pilgrims on their journeys to the Holy Cities. The most famous of these chronicles is that of Taleb Ahmed Ould Toueir Al Jenna of Ouadane (who died in 1265H, 1849). It was edited in English in 1977 by Norris who used the 2722 manuscript of the IMRS; it was also published in 1995 in Morocco in its original version order cheap levitra.
b) Anthologies, collections and odes.
– The poetic anthologies and collections of manuscripts come generally first in public and private collections. The verse praises of the Prophet (the “Medh”) which are generally slightly altered for the sake of beauty. Odes deals with courtly love or record laments of the adventurer in exile while literary texts codify grammar, Islamic law or traditional medicine. The oldest poet whose manuscript has been preserved and recorded is Sidi Abdoullah ibn Maham El Alawi of Chinguiti (1060-1144). His book, the “Diwan” (collection) was published in 1886.
The famous traditional medicine treatise of Aoufa Ould Abou Bekrin Ould Etfagha Massar (1780-1850) was written in 1182 in the form called “In-Nadhem,” “commonly used for didactic works. The poem” El “Omda” (the base, the support of the physician) that existed in seven manuscripts were translated and published in French in 1943 in Volume 5 of the Bulletin of the French Institute of Black Africa.
c) Religious Writings.
– The bulk of Mauritanian manuscripts, locally written or commented on in the margins or exegeses books by foreign writers, are those dealing with strictly religious subjects: sciences of the Qur’an (copies of the holy books, exegesis of the scriptures etc.), traditions of the prophet (ordinary “hadiths”, biographies of the Prophet etc.), “Figh” (including nawazels, Fatawa on “Mauritanian” jurisprudence and Treatises on Malekism ) etc.
The presenter is a Consultant, former Ambassador of the Islamic Republic of Mauritania