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Mauritanian Political Parties

Last modified: 2006-02-18 by rob raeside
Keywords: mauritania | flam | sahara | tokeleur |
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African Forces for the Liberation of Mauritania - FLAM

[FLAM] image by Ivan Sache and Jarig Bakker 20 February 2000

According to FLAM website at [no longer available], FLAM is 'Forces de Libération Africaines de Mauritanie' [African Liberation Forces of Mauritania]. The membership card says (in French): 'FLAM is a political, non-racial, non-ethnical political organization. Any Mauritanian can be a member, without any discrimination.' The emblem of the party is a yellow torch on a green oval. This is canting since FLAM can equally be pronounced 'flamme' [flame]. The party official newspaper is called 'Le Flambeau' [The Torch].

According to what is said on its website, the party seems to have been everything but authorized by the successive Mauritanian governments [none of them having been a model of democratic government by some standards, not to say more.] The party seems to be essentially active in exile. The party is formed by the black people to fight against the domination of the Arabs and Berbers. According to Encyclopaedia Universalis Yearbook, the 'Maures' (Moors), represent 70% of the population of Mauritania. I won't be surprised if these Moors were demographically the majority but politically the minority, a situation rather frequent in Africa. (This is only my guess, and authorized confirmation would be welcome.)

The flag of the FLAM was shown on the picture section of the FLAM website ( - no longer available). It has three horizontal stripes. The upper one is yellow and the lower one green. The colours of the pictures are a bit weird so that the exact shades can not be safely defined. The central stripe is vertically divided black and white with two opposed triangles 'countercoloured' in the middle. These two white and black triangles appear also on the party monogram (in the F and A letters). There seems to be a white fimbriation below the black stripe and a black one above the white stripe.
Ivan Sache, 4 February 2001

I found some info on this party in "Political Handbook of the World 1997":

FLAM = Forces de Libération Africaine de Mauritanie (African Liberation Forces of Mauritania). Organized in 1983 in opposition to what was perceived as repressive policies towards Blacks, FLAM was believed responsible for an "Oppressed Black" manifesto which in 1986 was widely distributed within Mauretania and at the nonaligned summit in Zimbabwe. Based partly in Dakar, Senegal, the group also condemned reprisals against Blacks by the Taya regime following an alleged coup attempt in 1987. Many FLAM supporters were reported to be among those who fled or were expelled to Senegal in 1989. Subsequently engaged in guerilla activity, FLAM leaders announced in July 1991 that they were suspending "armed struggle" in response to the government's general amnesty and promulgation of a new Mauritanian constitution. FLAM endorsed Ahmed Ould Daddah in the January 1992 presidential election, after which it renewed its anti-governmental military campaign near the Senegalese borders. Leaders of the group stated in early 1995 that they were neither secessionists nor terrorists, reiterating their support for the establishment of a federal system that would ensure an appropriate level of Black representation in government while protecting the rights of Blacks throughout Mauritanian society.
The flag at is slightly different from the one Ivan sent: the middle stripe is completely countercharged black and white. [This is the flag image shown above. Ed.]
Jarig Bakker, 5 February 2001

Other Flags in Mauritania

Other flags reported in use in Mauritania are few: the flag of the Frente Popular por la Liberación del Sahara that was formed by Mauritanians with the objective of annexation of Sahara to Mauritania, and the flag that seems to be from Tokeleur people (non-Muslim people in the South of Mauritania). Jose Luis Cepero believes that the Senegalese in Mauritania (or their organization) use flags of their own, but their design is unknown.

Jaume Ollé, 11 July 2000