At the same time, numerous sub-contracts have been switched from companies like MAOA and AON, which are owned by members of the Smassides tribe of former president, Maaouiya Ould Taya, to Oulad Bou Sbaa entrepreneurs like the Azizi family. As a result, business men deprived of mining service contracts denounce the apparently unstoppable rise to prominence of figures close to the president.

Against this background, the Ministry of Petroleum, Energy and Mining headed by Taleb Ould Abdi Vall, a member of the influential Idawali tribe and apolitical, gives the impression of being a haven of neutrality. Ould Abdivall is professional and has built up his own network of advisers, who are often graduates, like him of the University of Nancy in France.

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