Biram Dah Abeid, known as “the Nelson Mandela of Mauritania,” is founder of the Initiative for the Resurgence of the Abolitionist Movement (IRA) and an antislavery campaigner.
A descendant of former slaves, Abeid works to strengthen the enforcement of Mauritanian laws forbidding slavery, as well as to improve the social integration and livelihood of former slaves and other members of the majority black-African population.
In Mauritania, which has the highest rate of slavery in the world, Abeid’s activism revolves around raising awareness about the possibility of a slavery-free life. Through demonstrations, sit-ins, hunger strikes, marches, and the general dissemination of information at home and abroad, IRA attempts to free slaves and pressure the Mauritanian government to hold slave owners accountable for their crimes.
Abeid and his organization have been recognized with awards by a number of countries, including Ireland, Germany, the Netherlands, and the United States.
In 2021 Abeid collaborated on a new autobiography of his life, entitled Biram Dah Abeid et le Pacte de la Resistance.