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Mauritania has dedicated and detailed counterterrorism legislation but existing penal law is not considered comprehensive by the United Nations. In early 2022, the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) conducted a workshop to assist Mauritanian authorities to enhance the national legal framework on counterterrorism and ensure its compliance with international legal norms. There is no carve-out for the exercise of fundamental human rights. Under Mauritanian law, the death penalty is imposable for terrorist offences that involve homicide.  

Compliance with International Law:
Last updated: one year ago

The Definition of Terrorism in Domestic Law

Terrorist act is specifically defined in Mauritanian law under the 2010 Act as any one of a list of predicate crimes

which, by its nature or context, may cause serious harm to the country and committed intentionally with the aim of seriously intimidating the population or unduly coercing the public authorities to do what they are not obliged to do or to abstain from doing what they are required to do, pervert the fundamental values ​​of society and destabilize the constitutional, political, economic, or social structures and/or institutions of the Nation, or harm the interests of other countries or an international organization.Art. 3, 2010 Counterterrorism Act.


Membership of a terrorist organization 

A terrorist organization is defined in the 2010 law as a structured association of more than two people, established for a period of time, and which acts in a concerted manner with a view to committing terrorist offences provided for in the law.Art. 6, 2010 Counterterrorism Act. 

Adherence to Global and Regional Terrorism Treaties


Mauritania is a State Party to all of the main United Nations treaties on terrorism.


Adherence to Global Terrorism Treaties
Treaty Adherence
1973 Convention on Crimes against Internationally Protected Persons State Party
1979 Hostage-Taking Convention State Party
1997 Terrorist Bombings Convention State Party
1999 Terrorist Financing Convention State Party
2005 Nuclear Terrorism Convention State Party


Mauritania is also a State Party to both of the African Union treaties on terrorism.


Adherence to Regional Terrorism Treaties
Treaty Adherence
1999 Algiers Convention State Party
2004 Protocol to the Algiers Convention State Party

Laws and Penalties for Terrorist Offences

The maximum penalty for terrorist offences is generally between fifteen and twenty years imprisonment.Art. 8, 2010 Counterterrorism Act.But terrorist offences that result in death are subject to the mandatory death penalty.Art. 17, 2010 Counterterrorism Act.Children may be imprisoned for terrorist offences but at half the term imposable for adults and up to a maximum of twelve years.Art. 18, 2010 Counterterrorism Act.

Counterterrorism Capacities and Policies at Domestic Level

The Mauritanian National Committee to Combat Terrorism, which was created in 2019, was given the task of aligning national legislation in line with UN Security Council counterterrorism resolutions.


2010 Counterterrorism Law (French original)

2015 Amendment to the Counterterrorism Law

Code Penal de la Mauritanie