Ambassador Larry André hosted a lunch on Monday, January 12, 2015, as a part of his ongoing, open dialogue with Mauritanians concerning priority issues for both nations. The lunch followed meetings on January 7 with UPR and January 8 with civil society groups. The Ambassador and the attendees sought to foster greater collaboration towards ending the tragic heritage of slavery. The Ambassador shared the experience of the United States in ending slavery and the continuing issues today in the United States that derive in part from this same tragic heritage.
Attendees of the lunch included Oumar Ould Matalla, Cheikh Ahmed Ould Zahave, and El Kory Ould Abd El Mewlla from UPR and Samory Ould Bey (El Hor), Boubacar Ould Messaoud (SOS Esclaves), and Balla Toure (IRA) from civil society groups. The Ambassador and his guests discussed how Mauritania will continue and intensify its efforts to end all forms of slavery, in accordance with its own publicly stated objectives, with particular attention to the government’s Roadmap to Eradicate Slavery adopted in March 2014. All of the attendees agreed that definitively removing slavery from Mauritanian society requires a sustained and collective effort by government, religious, law enforcement, judicial, tribal, and civil society leaders together with all Mauritanians of good faith.