Mauritania marks 60th independence anniversary on Saturday. President Mohamed Ould Cheikh el Ghazouani presided over the event after announcing sharp increases in pensions and salaries in the health and education sectors on Friday night.
"I pay here, a deserved tribute and express deep appreciation to the heroes of our valiant resistance for the valiant acts of bravery and sacrifice, at the price of their blood, to defend the homeland in the name of its freedom and dignity", he told the gathering in the capital, Nouakchott.
Health sector workers will benefit from a 30% increase in their salaries and a generalization of their risk premium, the president announced Friday night in a televised speech.
The Mauritanian head of state stressed the efforts made by health workers during the coronavirus pandemic, which has claimed 169 lives for some 8,000 cases in in the country.
On education, the president said premiums of teachers have been increased to encourage them to work in remote areas of the country, describing them as a ‘’priority’’.
Pensioners will see their pensions doubled and now paid every month, instead of every three months currently, President Ghazouani added.
The ceremony saw parades by security officers, while locals were present to express their pride for the celebration.
"It is a proud day for us because it marks the recovery of our freedom. It is a beautiful day that we are happy to celebrate every year", a resident Fatima Ahmed said.
The Islamic Republic in Northwestern Africa gained its independence from France on November 28, 1960.