Western Sahara Economy

Western Sahara Population, Geography, History and Economy


Western Sahara is a region on the Atlantic coast of northwest Africa. Clockwise from the north, it borders Morocco, Algeria and Mauritania. Until 1969, it was Spanish Western Sahara and consisted of the regions of Rio de Oro and Sagua el-Hamra. It is claimed by the Saharan Arab Democratic Republic and Morocco, a government in exile. United Nations list of non-autonomous territories in the 1960shas been published from Morocco still dominates Western Sahara, while the Saharan Arab Democratic Republic controls only a small portion of the eastern part of Western Sahara. Western Sahara was officially colonized by Morocco, and most countries outside of Africa and South America did not recognize Western Sahara as a state. Also, the country is not a member of the United Nations. See Countryaah.com for other countries starting with W.


Arabs and Berbers make up the majority. The official languages ​​are Arabic, Spanish and Berber.


Located in North Africa, Western Sahara borders the North Atlantic Ocean and Morocco and Mauritania. To the northeast, it also meets Algeria. It is also one of the driest and most uninhabitable areas on Earth. In some areas, phosphoric acid is high.


As the decolonization movement to liberate colonies took place all over the world, a conflict broke out between Morocco and Mauritania, who claimed historical rights, and the Sahwari, who insisted on national self-determination. Residents of Western Sahara had already been developing an independence movement centered on the Polisario Front since 1973. In 1975, the International Court of Justice issued an advisory opinion that while Morocco and Mauritania had affiliation rights in the region, the Sahara had a right to national self -determination. In response, Morocco demanded the return of Western Sahara and staged a Green March, Spain yielded to Morocco’s pressure and through negotiations between Morocco and Mauritania, two-thirds of the northern part of Western Sahara based on the 24th parallel was taken over by Morocco and the rest by Mauritania. decided to split. in 1976Spanish rule ended. The Mauritania region was established with Dakhla as the center of Tiris Al Garbiya. Polisario protested and declared independence as the Sahara Arab Democratic Republic.

In response, Morocco stepped up its offensive against Polisario, and Polisario continued its offensive against Morocco and Mauritania with Algeria ‘s support.

Mauritania signed an agreement with Polisario in 1979 and renounced its sovereignty. However, Morocco immediately declared that the former Mauritania region of Western Sahara was Moroccan territory, and Polisario failed to secure control over the former Mauritania region. Eventually, due to the construction of the Moroccan Wall in Morocco, only 20% to 25% of the area was controlled by the Polisario side. In 1988, Morocco and Polisario accepted the UN peace proposal, and in 1991, a UN referendum observer was sent to the Sahara.

Since then, a power outage has continued, but the ultimate resolution of the dispute is still difficult to this day, such as the postponement of the referendum. Since then, the state of guerrilla warfare between the Polisario Front and Morocco has continued, but since 1991 it has entered a cease-fire by the United Nations. Accordingly, peacekeeping operations (PKO) by the United Nations Peacekeeping Force (PKF) are being carried out in the Western Sahara region.

Since 1999, when Muhammad VI came to power in Morocco, the attitude towards the elites of Western Sahara has been neglected, unlike the previous era of Hassan II, and as a result, voices demanding independence are rising. In particular, since 2005, there has been an increasing trend in the capital city of Laayoune. However, in the case of young people, they show a different political stance from the first generation of Western Sahara residents and Moroccans. They do not join the Polisario Front, they demand citizenship and want human rights and international legitimacy rather than nationalism. However, the United Nations has not yet taken any decision on this issue. [One]


Except for aquatic products and phosphoric acid, there are few resources from Western Sahara, and even rainfall for agricultural activities is insufficient. Recently, there is an expectation that it will become a gas store, but questions remain about whether it will be commercially viable. Moreover, since Western Sahara is not a sovereign and independent country in the current situation, there is a big problem with how to deal with it legally even if it is harvested.

Most of the people are nomadic, pastoralists, and fishermen, and sometimes live in phosphate mining towns. Most of the food is imported, and all trade and economic activities are managed by the Moroccan government. The Moroccan government is not shy about forcibly relocating Moroccans while providing price controls and advantages for essential goods. Therefore, it is no exaggeration to say that the Moroccan government has the greatest influence over the entire Western Sahara.

Western Sahara Economy