Western Sahara Country Information
Western Sahara Travel Information
Western Sahara is a territory in Northwest Africa. It borders Algeria, Mauritania, and Morocco, as well as having a coastline on the Atlantic Ocean. The territory of Western Sahara is largelly defacto controlled by Morocco, although some eastern parts of the territory are controlled by the independence movement, the Polisario Front, through its Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic (SADR) government.
The reason for the complex situation in Western Sahara relates to the decolonization process. In 1975, Western Sahara was a Spanish colony, but Spain, with its leader, General Francisco Franco dying, was under pressure to withdraw from the colony. Meanwhile Morocco claimed a historical right to the territory, and Mauritania claimed parts of the territory as "Greater Mauritania". The result was the Madrid Pact between Mauritania, Meanwhile Morocco, and Spain which divided the territory between the first two, and provided for continuing Spanish economic interests. However, the Madrid Pact was strongly opposed by Algeria and the Polisario Front, which both supported independence. This conflict led to guerilla war, with Algeria backing the Polisario guerillas, and in 1976, even committing some troops.
Spain soon (by 1976), abandoned all interests in the territory, and Mauritania also withdrew entirely in 1979, and although a a ceasefire has been in effect between Morocco and the Polisario Front since 1991, the territory remains divided and its status in dispute.
Western Sahara Country Details
Web Sites about Western Sahara
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Books about Western Sahara
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