Thursday, February 13, 2014

Western Sahara

Western Sahara

Sent by Damjan of Slovenia from the village of Aousserd (Moroccan-controlled region) in Western Sahara.  Thank you very much.

Chris (Damjan's colleague) who is operating a traveller's adventure company in Western Sahara wrote in an e-mail, "Officially there is no country called Western Sahara, even though many maps still show a border. Most of Western Sahara is occupied by Morocco since the late 1970s, so a postcard will only have a normal Moroccan stamp. The inland part of the country is called the Polisario Free Zone and there is a big sand wall ('berm') separating the two.  A regular traveller cannot visit the PFZ so easily and I think the Polisario use the postal service of Algeria or Mauritania to send letters".

Thanks to Chris too for your help.

Western Sahara (US /wɛstərn səˈhærə/, UK /ˌwɛstən səˈhɑrə/, Arabic: الصحراء الغربية Aṣ-Ṣaḥrā’ al-Gharbīyah, SpanishSahara Occidental, Berber: Taneẓroft Tutrimt) is a disputed territory in the Maghreb region of North Africa, bordered by Morocco to the north, Algeria to the extreme northeast, Mauritania to the east and south, and the Atlantic Ocean to the west. Its surface area amounts to 266,000 square kilometres (103,000 sq mi). It is one of the most sparsely populated territories in the world, mainly consisting of desert flatlands. The population is estimated at just over 500,000, of whom nearly 40% live in El Aaiún (also spelled Laâyoune), the largest city in Western Sahara.
Occupied by Spain since the late 19th century, the Western Sahara has been on the United Nations list of non-self-governing territories since 1963 after a Moroccan demand. It is the most populous territory on that list, and by far the largest in area. In 1965, the UN General Assembly adopted its first resolution on Western Sahara, asking Spain to decolonise the territory. One year later, a new resolution was passed by the General Assembly requesting that a referendum be held by Spain on self-determination. (read further)

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