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Young protestors call for reform in N. Africa

By CNN Wire Staff
  • Protestors gather in Mauritania after a call for action on Facebook
  • Protestors call for social and political change
  • Peaceful demonstrations are held in the capital city, Nouakchott

(CNN) -- A rare demonstration took place Friday in the streets of Mauritania after hundreds of protestors gathered, calling for social and political change, a journalist told CNN.

The call to action started last week on Facebook, which is said to be very popular in Mauritania, said the journalist.

Young protestors, also called the Facebook generation, were surrounded by police during several hours of peaceful demonstrations on Friday in the capital city of Nouakchott, according to reports.

The demonstrations were the first in Mauritania after weeks of demonstrations in other African nations and the Middle East.

Mauritania's Prime Minister Moulaye Ould Mohamed Laghdaf said Thursday that people were free to protest peacefully, because "this is a democratic country," the journalist told CNN.

The Islamic Republic of Mauritania, borders the North Atlantic Ocean between Senegal and Western Sahara. According to the Central Intelligence Agency website, half the population still depends on agriculture and livestock for a livelihood.