Press Release

The United States Embassy to the Islamic Republic of Mauritania is concerned that on September 8, 12 American civil rights leaders were denied entry into Mauritania. The private delegation of civil rights leaders, organized by the Chicago-based Abolition Institute and the civil rights Rainbow PUSH, were scheduled to visit Mauritania from September 8 – 15 to learn more about its efforts to eradicate slavery and its legacy and to promote racial cohesion.

This delegation was scheduled to meet with the U.S. Embassy in Nouakchott, Mauritanian officials, and Mauritanian civil society leaders. Through their meetings and interactions the delegation hoped to learn about Mauritania’s successes in the eradication of slavery and to promote those successes on an international level. The United States is disappointed and concerned with the decision to deny entry to this delegation.

The U.S. Embassy recognizes that race and social cohesion are often deeply rooted issues, which take significant time and effort to overcome. We applaud the heroic actions of Mauritanians who continue to fight against the vestiges of slavery and racial divisions in their country, in the same way that we applaud American heroes fighting to unite America in light of recent social injustices.  We recognize that by bringing new perspectives to analyze these problems we will find a solution. The U.S. Embassy to Mauritania will continue to support and promote tolerance, social cohesion and a vision for a better future where the country’s diversity becomes a source of strength.

Nouakchott, September 8, 2017