Asambleas Ciudadanos


the Sahel Saharan Citizens' Assembly



Citizens’ caravans in Mauritania : first step !

Translations : English . français . Español

Mamadou Niang, Moulkheiry Mint Sid el Moustapha and Mint Tolba Mint Sedoum set off this past Monday (February 16) to start the first citizens’ caravan of the Sahel – Saharan Assembly in the direction of Aioun, near the Malian frontier, for 1,000 km and a night’s drive from the Mauritanian capital. Program from this first caravan:

  • First stage and debates during 4-5 days in the city of Aioun,
  • Second stage and debates in the city of Kiffa, also during 4-5 days,
  • Last stop in the city of Aleg, then return to Nouakchott.

Some of the team’s contacts organized a call to the people and local organizations to take part in a debate on the central issue of “values and new citizenship” in each city. Assemblies gathering between 100 and 150 people took place in various neighborhoods of the three cities. This time of the year is conducive to dialog, states Mamadou : “temperatures are benign, people are in town and traditional Mauritanian political dates are still afar (Presidential elections in May, 2009). The idea is to listen to what people have to say about their lives, the local problems and challenges, their goals. We are going to test this citizens’ caravans project, which echoes the region’s history of the “musical griots” who traveled the land spreading and collecting communities political messages. This is why we will ride on camels to the meeting points”.

The first debates on Aioun referred to environmental issues and access to political goods : water, health and care, and renewable energy.

The team will be on the road for fifteen days. The language privileged has been Moor. There will also be a video expert who will afterwards edit the audiovisual material of the exchanges and debates obtained thanks to the help received in Nouakchott from those who can handle video well. The Sahel – Saharan Assembly has, moreover, an association statute provided very recently by the Ministry of the Interior in Mauritania. The team is in motion ! The project has set sail ! Bon voyage, citizens!







Pictures of the first citizens' caravan in Mauritania

Selection of images of the 1st caravan organized towards Aioun in Mauritania in February 2009